Pitt Withstands Challenge from Louisville in 4, Stays Perfect at 22-0

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 21st, 2018 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, News

Pittsburgh def. Louisville 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 26-28, 25-20)

  • Pitt moves to 22-0, 10-0 ACC; Louisville falls to 16-5, 9-1 ACC
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Attendance: School Record 2,152
  • Box Score
  • Pitt Recap / Louisville Recap 

Pitt continued its historic season, extending its win streak to 22 matches (longest since 1987 – 24) and posting its best ever ACC start (10-0) with a four-set win over co-league leader Louisville on Sunday.

The Panthers are now 16-0 at home in 2018, including 7-0 against ACC foes with the four-setter, which marked Pitt’s first win over Louisville since an Oct. 23, 2016 sweep.

Louisville was better at the net, outhitting Pitt .193 to .188 and boasting a 55-54 edge in kills and 16-14 advantage in blocks. Pitt outserved the Cardinals 8-6 in aces.

Pitt followed Stephanie Williams to victory as the outside hitter notched 17 kills, 10 digs and five blocks. Kayla Lund chipped in 14 kills and 15 digs, while Layne Van Buskirk added 10 putaways and a match-high 12 blocks. Nika Markovic just missed a double-double with nine kills, nine digs and five blocks.

Amanda Green notched 16 kills and four blocks to lead Louisville, while Melanie McHenry added 16 putaways, 14 digs and three stuffs. Piper Roe followed with nine terminations on a .571 clip (9-1-14) and put up seven blocks.

Louisville took advantage of four Pitt miscues early in Set 1 to jump ahead 10-5. The Panthers made their comeback with six straight points after falling behind 13-9. Van Buskirk notched two blocks and an ace in the rally which put Pitt up 15-13. The Cardinals countered with a 5-2 run of their own to grab an 18-17 edge. The back-and-forth battle continued with a 4-1 Panther run, which gave the team a 21-19 lead it would not relinquish. A Markovic kill and a stuff by Van Buskirk and Williams sealed the victory at 25-22.

Down 5-2 in Set 2, Pitt charged back with nine of the next 10 points including a kill and ace each by Markovic and Williams. Louisville called timeout and chipped away eventually turning a 13-10 deficit into a 14-13 lead with two Wilma Rivera aces. The Cardinals led by two at 22-20, before succumbing to a 3-0 Pitt run. After a timeout, Louisville got a kill and a block from Roe to earn a set-point try at 24-23. Williams evened the score at 24 with a kill and gave the Panthers a set-point try of their own with a block. A hitting error put the home side up 2-0 in the match.

Once again, Louisville was in control early, going up 6-3 with kills by five different players. A kill and a block by Jasmine Bennett and an ace by Mia Stander put the Cardinals up four at 13-9. Pitt scored 13 of the next 19, with help from six Uofl miscues, three Williams putaways and an Angela Seman ace. Down 22-19, Louisville scored four of the next five to earn a set-point try at 24-23. Pittsburgh answered with kills by Williams and Van Buskirk to earn a match-point try at 25-24. The Cardinals fought back and extended the match with a final 4-1 push, including two blocks by Piper Roe to clinch the 28-26 win.

Louisville carried the momentum into Set 4, racing out to a 16-6 advantage including five kills and a block by Green. Pitt turned the tables with a 15-1 run to seize a 21-17 lead of its own. Markovic served up three aces and Van Buskirk chimed in with two kills and three blocks in the rally, which also saw Louisville give away four points on errors. Green finally broke up the run with a kill and Bennett and McHenry added two more to cut the margin to three at 23-20. It was too little too late, though, as Lund pounded down back-to-back kills to finish off the comeback and keep Pitt perfect on the year.

Pitt returns to action on Friday against Wake Forest. The match is the first of four straight road matches for the Panthers.

Louisville is back on the court on Friday, when the Cardinals kick off a four-match home stand against Boston College.

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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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