Oct. 25, 2012
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – With the regular-season winding down, the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (13-11, 4-6) hits the road this weekend with matches at Notre Dame (15-6, 8-1) on Friday and at DePaul (7-15, 2-7) on Sunday.
The contest with the Fighting Irish begins at 7 p.m. EST, while the match with DePaul on Sunday is at 3 p.m. EST. Live stats for both matches will be available by clicking here.
COMING DOWN THE STRETCH:
Pitt is currently holding the 10th spot in the Big East standings with aspirations of finishing in the top eight and earning a berth into the conference tournament hosted by Marquette in mid-November. Despite currently being 10th, Pitt has the opportunity to move up the standings this weekend as teams 5-10 are all jumbled together.
Seton Hall is currently fifth with a league mark of 5-4. Although no team has yet to clinch a berth into the postseason tournament, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame and Cincinnati have at least a two match lead on teams 5-10, leaving SHU, Connecticut, USF, St. John’s, Villanova and Pittsburgh to battle for the four remaining spots.
THE REMAINING SCHEDULE:
Including this weekend, the Panthers have three home matches and three road matches to end the season. After this weekend road trip, Pittsburgh plays host to USF (Nov. 3), Robert Morris (Nov. 6) and Seton Hall (Nov. 9), before ending the season at Villanova (Nov. 11).
PANTHERS IN THE BIG EAST STATISTICS:
Pittsburgh as a team ranks second in conference in aces per set (1.40) and is fifth in digs per set (16.51). Lindsey Zitzke leads the way in aces as she is ranked third in the league with an average of 0.42 aces per set. Margy Acton leads the defense with a 4.99 digs per set average, ranking her sixth in conference.
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME AND DEPAUL:
The Fighting Irish enters the weekend with an 8-1 league record and has won six matches in a row. As a team, Notre Dame ranks first in blocks per set (2.64), second in hitting percentage (.254), and third in both kills per set (13.67) and assists per set (12.87). Toni Alugbue and Jeni Houser lead the charge with 284 and 267 kills, respectively.
DePaul is 12th in the Big East at 2-7. Last time out, the Blue Demons were swept by Georgetown, giving the Hoyas their first conference win of the season and snapping their 14 match losing streak. Vesela Zapryanova has a team-best 264 kills on the season.