Nov. 1, 2012
PITTSBURGH – With three conference matches remaining, the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (14-12, 5-7) looks to take a major step in qualifying for the postseason as the Panthers play host to USF (13-12, 5-7) this Saturday at Fitzgerald Field House. First serve is set for 2 p.m.
SETTING THE SCENE:
The Panthers control their own destiny of making the Big East Tournament. Pitt is currently in ninth place, while the Bulls are in 10th with an identical conference record of 5-7. Teams 6-8 in the standings (Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova) all have a league record of 5-6. After this match with the Bulls, Pitt will host Seton Hall before ending the season at Villanova. The top eight teams will qualify for the tournament in Milwaukee.
TOP 10 IN SIGHT:
Libero Margy Acton continues to stamp her name into the Pitt volleyball record book. Acton, with 432 digs this season, is close to cracking the top-10 for digs in a single season. She already holds the 10th spot on that list with 445 digs in 2010, and would surpass her total of two seasons ago with 14 more digs against USF. She currently ranks fifth all-time in career digs at Pittsburgh with 1,317.
LAST TIME OUT; WIGNOT AND GUESS LEAD PITT PAST DEPAUL:
In Pitt’s second five-set match of the season, Monica Wignot had a match-high 15 kills and a career-high 11 block against DePaul, while Mechael Guess had a season-best 13 kills. The two helped the Panthers rally from a 10-6 deficit in the fifth set to outscore DePaul 9-3 down the stretch for the 15-13 fifth set victory. The Panthers are now 2-0 in five set decisions this season.
SCOUTING THE BULLS:
USF relies on three players for the majority of their kills, led by Kayla Walton with 253 spikes. It is a very balanced attacked though, as Erin Fairs and Valerie El Houssine have 243 and 241 kills, respectively. The Bulls rank fourth in conference with a .220 hitting percentage, and are fifth in the league with a 13.36 kills per set average.
Saturday will also be Youth Day at Fitzgerald Field House. Kids are invited to come out to support the Panthers, and also participate in activities such as face painting, air-brush tattoos and poster making. The Pitt volleyball team will lead in a skills clinic after the match and will also autograph posters. Groups of 15 or more will receive free admission into the contest, but must first contact Marketing Assistant Katie Shockey at email@example.com for details.