Pitt Clinches Share of ACC Crown with 3-1 Win over Florida State

  0 volleymob | November 17th, 2018 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, News

Pittsburgh def. Florida State 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19)

  • Pitt moves to 27-1, 15-1 ACC; Florida State moves to 17-9, 13-3 ACC
  • Tallahassee, Florida
  • Box Score

Courtesy: Pittsburgh Athletics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second consecutive season, the No. 10 Pitt volleyball team (27-1, 15-1 ACC) clinched at least a share of the ACC Championship with a 3-1 win at Florida State (17-9, 13-3 ACC) Friday night at Tully Gym.

The win marks the second ACC title for the program, after earning its first as co-champion with Louisville in 2017. A win for Pitt at Miami Sunday would secure the 2018 title outright for the Panthers.

The Panthers earned an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament, marking its third consecutive appearance and 16th overall.

Pitt won the match by scores of 25-22, 25-21, 20-25 and 25-19.

Junior right side Nika Markovic led the Panthers with a match-high 18 kills on .256 hitting. She had a double-double with 14 digs and added five blocks and two assists.

Sophomore outside Kayla Lund recorded her team-high 12th double-double of the year with 13 kills and 13 digs. The Panthers’ middles, sophomore Chinaza Ndee and junior Layne Van Buskirk, each posted 10 kills.

Senior setter Kamalani Akeo had a match-high 30 assists and redshirt senior libero Angela Seman had 18 digs.

As a team, the Panthers out-hit the Seminoles, .195 to .164, and out-blocked Florida State 15.0-14.0. Pitt had the advantage in kills (60-46), assist (58-43) and digs (69-58).


  • The Panthers clinched at least a share of the ACC Volleyball Championship for the second consecutive season. Pitt was named Co-Champion with Louisville in 2017.
  • Pitt earned its most wins in a season (27) since going 28-9 (7-0) in 1991, winning both the Big East Regular Season and Big East Tournament Championships.
  • The Panthers earned their most wins in a season under sixth-year head coach Dan Fisher.
  • The Panthers extended their best start to a season in school history, improving to 27-1.
  • Pitt extended its best start to ACC play in program history, improving to 15-1.
  • The Panthers improved their 2018 away record to 8-1, and 7-1 against ACC opponents.
  • Pitt extended its win streak against the Seminoles to four matches.
  • The Panthers won the team’s previous meeting this season, 3-1, at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh (Sept. 30).
  • The Panthers improved their all-time record against the Seminoles to 8-5 overall and 4-2 when playing in Tallahassee.
  • Pitt earned its second consecutive win at Tully Gym. The Panthers’ last loss in Tallahassee came Oct. 16, 2016 (3-1).

Set One: No. 10 Pitt 25, Florida State 22
A 3-0 run gave Florida State an early 5-2 lead, but Pitt answered with a 4-0 run to re-gain the advantage, 6-5. The Panthers extended the lead with a 7-1 run to make it 14-8. Florida State used runs of 4-0 and 3-1 to make it a one-point frame, Pitt leading 19-18. The teams traded points until two consecutive scores put Pitt up, 23-20. The Noles earned the next two points to come as close as 23-22, but Pitt closed the set with the last two points, 25-22.

Pitt had six blocks in the first set and hit .317 compared to Florida State’s .116. Lund led the Panthers with five kills.

Set Two: No. 10 Pitt 25, Florida State 21
It was another tight set, marked by 12 ties and four lead changes. Pitt earned a 7-3 lead with a 4-0 run, but Florida State surged on a 7-2 run to take a 10-9 advantage. The latest tie came at 18-18, following a 3-1 run by the Noles. Pitt ended the frame on a 5-2 run to win, 25-21.

The Panthers out-hit Florida State, .268 to .158.

Set Three: Florida State 25, No. 10 Pitt 20
Errors plagued Pitt in the third set, as the Panthers hit just .043 for the frame with 14 kills and 12 errors on 47 attempts. A hot start put Florida State ahead by as many as six (8-2), and later, a 6-0 run extended the lead to 14-5. The Seminoles earned a double-figure lead (19-10), following a 5-2 run. Down 24-16, the Panthers fought through four set points with a 4-0 run to make it 24-20, but Florida State shut it down to win, 25-20.

Set Four: No. 10 Pitt 25, Florida State 19
The Panthers opened the fourth set with a dominant 10-0 run, including some tough serving by Akeo. Florida State outscored the Panthers 11-5 to cut its deficit to 15-11, and then to 17-14 following a 3-0 run. Pitt pushed its lead to 21-14 after a 4-0 run, ultimately claimed the victory by six points, 25-19.

The Panthers hit .286 in the frame, its best percentage of the match.


No. 10 Pitt will play its final regular season road match at Miami Sunday at 1 p.m. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra, available via the WatchESPN app.

Courtesy: Florida State Athletics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –  The Florida State volleyball team (17-9, 13-3 ACC) fell to No. 10 Pitt (27-1, 15-1 ACC) on Friday night, taking a set off the Panthers in a close four-set decision. With the win, Pitt claimed a share of the ACC Championship title for the second year in a row. Florida State now drops to a tie with Syracuse for second place in the conference.

If Florida State wins both of its next two matches and Pitt loses its next two, FSU will share the title with the Panthers.

Florida State saw 14 total blocks in the match to hold Pitt to just .195 hitting, the lowest the Panthers have seen since hitting .188 against Louisville earlier this season. While the Seminoles’ defense at the net stayed strong, it wasn’t enough to hold off Pitt’s top-ranked offense, as the Panthers put down 60 kills to stay ahead of Florida State.

The Seminoles recognized the team’s four seniors after the match after all four of them made an impact in their final game in Tully Gym. Senior setter Brianne Burkert saw 21 assists and seven digs, while redshirt senior Christina Ambrose put down six kills, an ace, four digs and two blocks in the match. The team’s two transfers, Ashley Murray (seven kills, three blocks) and Kelsey Wicinski (20 digs, four assists) added to the team’s four-set effort against the Panthers.

Florida State will close out the regular season on the road, facing North Carolina and NC State before finding out the team’s postseason fate on Sunday, Nov. 25.

Set 1 – UP 25, FSU 22

While the Seminoles kept up with the Panthers, and even held the lead in the beginning of the set, Pitt held an advantage throughout the opening set with a more consistent offensive presence. Florida State took more swings at the ball, but Pitt’s defense held the Seminoles back from scoring, using seven blocks and letting the Seminoles make two unforced errors to keep their hitting percentage down.

FSU came within only a point of the Panthers at Pitt’s 19-18 and 23-22 leads, but a consistent offense on Pitt’s side helped them close out the first for a 1-0 lead in the match.

Set 2 – UP 25, FSU 21

Pitt started out with the advantage in the set once again, but the set saw five tied scores before FSU took its first lead at 10-9 with a 4-0 scoring run. Both teams went back and forth from there, but Florida State saw its last lead at the 13-12 mark before the Panthers regained the lead at 15-14 and held on to it until the end.

While Florida State saw an improved hitting percentage in the set and kept up with Pitt on defense, it wasn’t enough to slow the Panthers as they put down 18 kills in the set. Caffrey led the Seminoles’ offense with five kills on 13 attacks, while Knuth hit 1.000 with two kills and three blocks.

Set 3 – FSU 25, UP 20

With a 4-0 run to start the set, the Seminoles secured the lead from the beginning. Florida State let Pitt make its own errors, and capitalized on their inconsistencies with a stronger offensive presence and six blocks in the set. Caffrey saw her hitting percentage improve as she was able to put down three kills early on in the set, and the Seminoles were able to gain as much as a 10-point lead over Pitt.

The Panthers’ offense began to click towards the end of the set, and a stronger effort at the net held Florida State back from running away with it. After FSU led at the 21-11 mark, the Panthers went 9-4 to close the Seminoles’ lead before a kill from Murray ended the set.

Set 4 – UP 25, FSU 19

Pitt started off strong in the fourth set, going up 10-0 before Florida State was able to score on a kill from Knuth. The Panthers held the lead with a tough offense, but a more consistent back row on FSU’s side set up the offense to make more plays, putting down 10 kills in the set.

While FSU was able to battle back to slow Pitt’s run and close the gap to as little as three points, it wasn’t enough keep Pitt’s tough offense down. The Panthers saw their best hitting percentage in the fourth set, closing it out with the first kill of the night from Williams to take the match.

Match Notes

  • With Friday night’s loss, the Seminoles drop down to a tie for second place in the conference with Syracuse (16-7, 12-3 ACC).
  • With the win, Pitt secures at least a share of the ACC title for the second year in a row.
  • Pitt extends their winning streak over the Seminoles to four matches.
  • The Seminoles have seen double-digit blocks in the last nine matches.
  • This marks the first time an opponent has seen more blocks than the Seminoles since Florida put up 13 blocks against FSU’s eight (9/12).


  • Taryn Knuth
    • With her 10 total blocks on Friday night, she passes her record of 162 blocks earned in 2017 that earned her the ACC Freshman of the Year honor.
    • She has now seen five or more blocks in 12 straight matches.
    • Friday marked her fourth time earning 10 total blocks in a match this season.
  • Brianne Burkert
    • With her 21 assists against Pitt, she moves up to 2,902 career assists, which ranks 8th in program history and 6th in FSU’s rally scoring history.
    • With her 7 digs on Friday, she passes Nicole Walch’s record and moves to 950 career digs, which ranks 7th in FSU’s rally scoring history.
  • Kelsey Wicinski
    • Friday marked her seventh 20-dig outing of the season, and the 24th time she has led the Seminoles outright in digs.

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