- N.C. State def. Pittsburgh (RV) 3-1 (25-21, 15-25, 25-19, 25-18)
- N.C. State moves to 14-7, 9-1 ACC; Pittsburgh falls to 16-5, 9-1 ACC
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Attendance: 567
- Box Score
PITTSBURGH – N.C. State drew even with Pittsburgh atop the ACC standings at 9-1 by snapping the Panthers’ 13-match streak with a four-set road win.
The Wolfpack edged Pitt in hitting percentage (.246 to .224), kills (49-48) and blocks (10-9.5) en route to the win. The Panthers won the serve (7-5 in aces) and back court defense (41-37 in digs).
Three N.C. State players turned in double-digit kill efforts, led by senior outside hitter Bree Bailey‘s 13. Senior outside Julia Brown and junior middle blocker Teni Sopitan followed with 11 apiece. Sophomore middle Lauryn Terry put up a team-best six blocks, while Brown added four and added a team-best 10 digs to finish off a double-double. Senior libero Emily Harris followed with eight digs and a team-high two aces.
Freshman outside Kayla Lund put down a match-high 14 kills, while hitting at a team-leading .345 clip, while sophomore right side Nika Markovic (12) and sophomore middle Layne Van Buskirk (10) rounded out the Panther offense. Markovic notched a team-best five block followed by Van Buskirk and freshman right side Chinaza Ndee with four apiece. Three Pitt players served up a pair of aces: Markovic, Lund and junior middle Emily Horner. Defensively, redshirt sophomore outside Stephanie Williams led the way with 12 digs, followed by junior setter Kamalani Akeo (8) and redshirt junior libero Angela Seman (8).
N.C. State won the opening set despite hitting just .094 in the stanza to Pitt’s .171 effort. Pittsburgh took an early 4-0 lead, but the Wolfpack answered with eight of the next 11, six on Panther errors, to go up 8-7. N.C. State pushed its advantage to two at 11-9 after two more Pitt mistakes and made it 13-11 on a Harris ace. The Panthers scored five of the next seven, including two blocks and a kill by Van Buskirk, to take the lead at 16-15. The Wolfpack called timeout trailing 20-18 and put together a 7-1 run out of the break to grab the 25-21 win. Two Brown kills and two blocks and a kill by Kearney helped lift N.C. State victory.
The Panthers cleaned up their offense with a .375 effort in Set 2. The teams split the first 20 points of the set, although Pitt owned a brief 8-5 lead after a kill and an ace by Lund. After the tie at 10, Pitt used three kills and a block by Markovic to build an eight-point lead at 19-11. N.C. State called timeout and got a kill out of the break, but Pitt answered with a 3-0 run to push ahead 22-12. A pair of Wolfpack errors made it 24-14 and a ball handling error evened the match at a set apiece.
Set 3 featured 12 ties, the last at 16. N.C. State led 3-1 early and Pitt snagged a 9-7 advantage, but the teams were even at 10 after a kill and a block by Sopitan. The teams split the next 12 points leading to the 16-all score. The Wolfpack broke away, closing out the win with a 9-3 run, including kills by four different players, a block and an ace. A Pitt hitting error capped the 25-19 win.
The Wolfpack closed out the match with their best offensive stand of the day, hitting .412 with 18 kills. The teams started the stanza with a 6-3 run, including two kills each by Bailey and Sopitan. Pitt cut the margin to one three times, last at 10-9, but could not break through. N.C. State scored 10 of the next 13 to make it 20-12. Two Sopitan kills, three Panther errors and a stuff by Pickrell and Terry aided the rally. Pittsburgh sliced the margin to four at 21-17, but N.C. ended the match on a 4-1 run, including the final three by Sopitan, who turned in a block and back-to-back kills to clinch it.
Courtesy: N.C. State Athletics
The NC State volleyball team put together a #STATEment performance Sunday afternoon to snap Pittsburgh’s 13-match winning streak and hand the Panthers their first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) loss this season with a 3-1 (25-21, 15-25, 25-19, 25-18) win inside Fitzgerald Field House.
It was the Wolfpack’s first-ever win at Pitt, which is receiving votes in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Poll, as NC State was unsuccessful in its first six tries.
With the win, the Pack takes over first place in the conference standings as both programs are 9-1 but NC State would own the tiebreaker since the teams only meet once this season.
The Wolfpack is now 14-7 on the year and 9-1 in ACC play, while Pitt moves to 16-5 and 9-1 in league play.
– NC State handed Pittsburgh its first loss since Sept. 8 at Western Kentucky, a span of more than a month.
– The Panthers had won their last nine sets played with three sweeps prior to dropping the opening set to the Wolfpack.
– NCSU won the first set for 16th time this season, as the squad has only lost the first frame in five matches.
“I’m so impressed with our team’s performance today,” said head coach Linda Hampton-Keith. “Our ability to execute and stay in the moment was great and it allowed us to make some tactical decisions when needed because our team was just all in.
“It was another serve-receive battle today and there were times when we weren’t passing well and our options were limited and there were times where we were really good at the service line and put a lot of pressure on them.
“We preached to our team all week about process and staying mindful in our process and to let the outcomes take care of themselves. So I’m just so happy for them to get the outcome we wanted when it would have been easier to get distracted.”
– NC State started slow in the match, but quickly erased a 4-0 deficit to take an 8-7 lead following a bad set by Pittsburgh.
– The teams were within a few points of each other throughout most of the frame before four unanswered points by NC State to grab a 22-20 advantage to force a Pitt timeout.
– After a point by the Panthers, the Wolfpack closed out the opening set with three consecutive points to take the frame, 25-21, and own a 1-0 lead in the overall match.
– The second set was tight early, but Pittsburgh pulled away with a 6-0 run from 10-10 to take control of the frame en route to the 25-15 victory to even the contest at one.
– NC State found its rhythm and settled into the match in the third set, as the Wolfpack recorded a .308 attacking percentage with only four errors.
– The frame was tightly contested, as there were 13 ties and five lead changes.
– With the score knotted at 16, sophomore Lauryn Terry swatted a kill from the middle to spark a 5-1 run extending the NC State lead to 21-17.
– After Pitt trimmed the advantage to 22-29, NCSU closed out the set with three unanswered points to win the set, 25-19, taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
– NC State charted the best attacking percentage for either team on the day with a .412 clip, headlined by 18 kills.
– The Wolfpack rushed out to a 6-3 lead in the fourth set before the Panthers battled back in the frame.
– Leading 10-9, NC State won 10 of the next 13 rallies to take control of the set with a 20-12 advantage to force a Pitt timeout.
– After narrowing the margin to 22-18, a block by Terry and Teni Sopitan gave the Wolfpack a 23-18 lead and back-to-back kills from Sopitan followed to close out the match.
– Bree Bailey led NC State offensively with 13 kills, while Julia Brown and Sopitan each tallied 11 kills.
– Kaitlyn Kearney swatted seven kills on 16 swings and did not commit an error to log a .438 attacking percentage.
– At setter, Kylie Pickrell dished out a match-high 41 assists in addition to three digs, two kills, two blocks and a service ace.
– Defensively, Brown paced the Pack with 10 digs to notch her 10th double-double of the year. Libero Emily Harris had eight digs and Terry logged a match-high six blocks.
NC State continues its four-match road swing when it heads to Miami Friday night Oct. 27. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. inside Knight Sports Complex.