Courtesy: Pitt Athletics
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team held its annual Blue-Gold Scrimmage Saturday afternoon at the Fitzgerald Field House. Blue came out on top, sweeping Gold in three sets.
In front of the largest Blue-Gold crowd in recent years, the reigning ACC Champions split into two teams and went head-to-head to get back into competition form.
Blue opened the match with a first set victory, 25-20. Gold came out strong at the beginning of set two, but Blue battled back to earn a 25-21 win. Blue rounded out the sweep with a dominant 25-17 victory in the third and final set.
Assistant coach Lindsey Behonick led the Blue team, while assistant coach Kellen Petrone coached the Gold squad. Head coach Dan Fisher oversaw both teams’ performances.
“We still aren’t to a point where we know what our starting lineup is going to be,” said Fisher. “We have a lot of good players and this is the fun part of the year where we try to sort that out.
“We saw our freshmen play some valuable minutes in front of a great crowd and got to see how they compete outside of practice. I am excited to have another week of training and then go play an exhibition at Ohio in a tough road environment. I feel really good about knowing we can head into the first game ready to go.”
Offensively for the Blue team, junior Nika Markovic led all players with 17 kills and hit .503 while sophomore Kayla Lund followed with 12. Aiding the hitters was senior setter Kamalani Akeo, who finished the match with 28 assists.
“The single biggest highlight in my mind was the way Kamalani [Akeo] played,” said Fisher. “She almost set a perfect game no matter who she was with. She looked like a senior who was motivated for her final year.”
Defensively for the Blue team, freshman Sabrina Starks posted a team-leading seven blocks. Akeo also led all players with 17 digs.
For the Gold team, sophomore Chinaza Ndee recorded 15 kills and junior Layne Van Buskirk finished with 10. Redshirt sophomore Kylee Levers led the squad with 16 digs, while redshirt sophomore Avery Perosa concluded the match with 15.
Some great 📸 from today's Blue-Gold Scrimmage!
Full Gallery: https://t.co/LCkmz1nlNq#OwnIt • #H2P pic.twitter.com/XI7j2jhtz0
— Pitt Volleyball (@Pitt_VB) August 11, 2018
Pitt will travel to Athens, Ohio, for an exhibition match against Ohio University Saturday, Aug. 18 at 12:30 p.m. before officially opening the 2018 season Friday, Aug. 24. The Panthers will welcome Butler, No. 24 Cal Poly and Pepperdine to the Fitzgerald Field House for the Panther Challenge, the first of two home tournaments.