- (RV) Pittsburgh def. Duke 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 25-17)
- (RV) Pittsburgh improves to 21-6 (14-2, ACC); Duke falls to 16-11 (8-8, ACC)
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (ACC Match)
- Box Score
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – (RV) Pittsburgh had a victorious senior day as they took down Duke in four sets to maintain their standing with the best of the ACC.
After coasting to the first set win and taking a tight second, Pittsburgh was tasked with coming back in the third after Duke went up 22-18. They did with six straight, but Duke battled back to tie at 24. After the Panthers garnered a set point chance at 25-24, they just couldn’t play cleanly as three consecutive attack errors pushed the match to a fourth. They were more in-sync in the new set as they pulled ahead in the middle and never looked back en route to the victory.
It wasn’t always easy to stay in sync and avoid those attack errors as Duke out-blocked Pittsburgh 19 to 8.5 behind a phenomenal effort from Anna Kropf (10 blocks) and company. Still, give plenty of credit to the Panthers who with strong poise weren’t fazed by the big blocks and kept swinging to the tune of a .261 day. That attack was led by Layne Van Buskirk (13 kills, .474), Stephanie Williams (12 kills, .417) and Kamalani Akeo (51 assists, nine digs) – who kept things balanced as five players had nine or more and four were in double-digits for kills.
Defensively, Pittsburgh kept Duke in check besides Samantha Amos (13 kills, .385, eight blocks) by holding down her teammates and the entire squad to a .163 mark. That was spearheaded by a back row that dug up ball after ball and logged 13 more team digs (52-39) than the Blue Devils. Sure enough, Pittsburgh was the stronger serving team too which also assisted in making life harder for the Duke offense.
Next up, Pittsburgh heads to the road for their final four matches starting with Clemson next week. For Duke, they still have two home matches left but they won’t come next week as Boston College is first up.
Courtesy of Duke:
PITTSBURGH – Midway into a four-match road stretch, Duke (16-11, 8-8 ACC) dropped a four-set decision in the Steel City Sunday, falling 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 25-17) to Pittsburgh (20-6, 13-2 ACC) at Fitzgerald Field House. Despite a season-high 19.0 Duke blocks, Pitt hit .261 as a team to remain tied for second place in the league standings.
Playing in front of her hometown crowd, Upper St. Clair, Pa., native Samantha Amos dropped a team-high 13 kills. Amos enjoyed one of her best outings of the season Sunday, hitting .385 while also contributing a career-high-tying eight blocks.
With her performance at Pitt, Amos registered her ninth match of the season with double-digit kills and eighth hitting over .300.
Amos was not the only Duke blocker to post career numbers on the day. Anna Kropf totaled a career-best 10 stops and Summer Brown added a career-best eight.
Duke outside hitters Payton Schwantz (11) and Cadie Bates (10) joined Amos in double-digit kills. Schwantz garnered her 19th match of 10 or more kills on the season, adding three blocks and two digs. Bates picked up 10 digs Sunday to register her team-leading 14th double-double. Bates also contributed four blocks.
On the back line, Nicole Elattrache paced Duke with 13 digs, followed by Bates’ 10.
Pitt hitters Layne Van Buskirk and Stephanie Williams both enjoyed solid performances. Van Buskirk knocked down 13 kills on .474 hitting and Williams dropped 12 on a .417 clip.
Duke hit .364 in the first but Pitt posted 19 kills on .545 hitting to claim the opening set, 25-19. Stephanie Williams knocked down five kills on 10 errorless attempts to pace the Panthers.
The two teams could not carry the impressive hitting into the second, combining for 12 attack errors. Pitt did well to limit Duke in the frame, keeping the Blue Devils to nine kills while accruing 17 of their own. The Panthers picked up a pair of kills over the final two points to wrap up the 25-22 decision.
The Blue Devil block came out of the break in sync to allow Duke to pick up the third set. Duke stymied the Pitt hitters with ?? blocks in the third set alone. Despite an early lead, the Blue Devils had to rally late, using a pair of blocks to capture a 27-25 win.
Duke was unable to keep momentum in the fourth, surrendering the set 25-17. After faltering in the third, Pitt raced to a seven-point, fourth-set lead and never let Duke back in the contest.
Duke completes its regular season road schedule this coming weekend, traveling to Boston College Friday, Nov. 17 and Syracuse Sunday, Nov. 19