21-0: Pittsburgh Keeps Streak Alive with Sweep of Notre Dame

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 19th, 2018 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, News

Pittsburgh def. Notre Dame 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-18)

  • Pittsburgh moves to 21-0, 9-0 ACC; Notre Dame falls to 11-8, 5-4 ACC
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Box Score
  • Pittsburgh Recap / Notre Dame Recap 

Pittsburgh stayed perfect on the year and in ACC play with a quick sweep of Notre Dame on Friday. The Panthers trailed the Irish in blocks (10-9), but boasted the advantage in all other facets of the game: hitting efficiency (.274 to .140), kills (51-30), aces (4-0) and digs (58-51).

Nika Markovic (16), Layne Van Buskirk (14) and Kayla Lund (10) paced the Panther offense with double-digit kill tallies, while Stephanie Williams added eight putaways. Van Buskirk hit at a match-high .500 clip and put up four blocks, while Lund rounded out a double-double with 10 digs. Williams chimed in with 11 digs, while Markovic added eight saves. Chinaza Ndee put up four blocks.

Sydney Bent and Jemma Yeadon downed nine kills apiece to lead Notre Dame, although neither hit better than .200 for the match. Yeadon added nine digs, while Zoe Nunez notched 29 assists and eight digs. Meg Morningstar put up seven blocks, while Bent registered three.

Notre Dame put up five blocks in the opening stanza, but it was not enough to steal away the set. The teams tied 11 times in the first half of the set, last at 14 all. The Irish scored four in a row after that, including a kill and a block by Morningstar and Bent to go up 18-14. Down 21-17, Pittsburgh rallied with five of the next six points, with two kills apiece by Markovic and Williams, knotting the score at 22. The Panthers finished off the comeback with three straight points, all by Van Buskirk (two kills, one block), to win 25-23.

Notre Dame could not get out of its own way in Set 2, hitting just .057, making three service errors and allowing Pitt three aces. The Panthers carried the momentum into the stanza, going up 7-2 including two Irish errors and two Van Buskirk putdowns. Notre Dame was within one at 12-11, but that sparked a 4-1 Pitt run, pushing the score to 16-12 behind three Van Buskirk kills. Up three at 16-13, Pittsburgh broke away, ending the set on a 9-4 run. The Panthers had set-point at 24-15 after a Lund ace, but a servicer error and attack error kept things going. An Irish hitting miscue capped the 25-17 win.

The teams split the first 22 points of Set 3, before Pittsburgh went up 16-12 on a Kamalani Akeo ace to cap a 5-1 run. The Irish rallied to within three at 19-16, but it was nearly all Panthers from there. Pitt scored five of the next six, with help from two kills and a block by Van Buskirk, to earn a match-point try at 24-17. Bent thwarted the first attempt with a kill, but Lund answered with her 10th of the night to wrap up the sweep.

Pittsburgh returns to action on Sunday as Louisville comes to town. It marks the Panthers’ first match against a ranked foe since facing Washington on Sept. 8. Meanwhile, Notre Dame moves on to face Virginia on Sunday.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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