Courtesy: Pittsburgh Athletics
PITTSBURGH – No. 5 Pitt volleyball (22-0, 10-0 ACC) will begin a stretch of four road matches with a contest at Wake Forest (8-14, 3-7 ACC) Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Reynolds Gym in Winston-Salem, N.C.
HOW TO FOLLOW
- Pitt’s match can be seen live on ACC Network Extra via WatchESPN.
- Live stats will be available via Statbroadcast.com.
- Fans can follow along with live updates on Twitter @Pitt_VB.
LAST TIME OUT
- Pitt overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth set to defeat No. 21 Louisville, 3-1, in front of a program-record attendance of 2,152 at Fitzgerald Field House Sunday afternoon.
- Two sets ascended into extra points as the Panthers claimed the match 25-22, 26-24, 26-28, 25-20 over the Cardinals to remain atop the ACC volleyball standings at 10-0.
- In a battle between the defending ACC Co-Champions, Pitt trailed by as many as 10 (16-6) in the fourth frame and used a 15-1 run to gain a 21-17 advantage and never looked back. The Panthers closed the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth set.
- The attendance number surpassed the 2,138 that viewed a match between Pitt and Penn State on Sept. 2, 2011.
- Three Panthers recorded double-doubles as redshirt junior outside hitter Stephanie Williams led the way with a season-high 17 kills for Pitt on .333 hitting, and posted 10 digs. Sophomore outside Kayla Lund had 14 kills and a match-high 15 digs for her team-leading 10th double-double. Junior middle Layne Van Buskirk contributed 10 kills and a career-high 12 blocks.
- Junior right side Nika Markovic served up four aces while recording a well-rounded stat line of nine kills, five assists, nine digs and five blocks.
- Redshirt sophomore setter Kylee Levers had 23 assists for Pitt and senior Kamalani Akeo posted 18. Redshirt senior libero Angela Seman had 11 digs and two service aces for the Panthers.
- The Cards had a slight advantage in nearly every statistic: kills (55-54), assists (52-49), digs (52-51), blocks (16.0-14.0) and hitting percentage (.193-.188).
A WIN WOULD…
- Extend the Panthers’ best start to a season in school history, improving to 23-0.
- Extend Pitt’s longest win streak since 1987, when the team won 24 consecutive matches.
- Extend the Panthers’ best start to ACC play in program history, improving to 11-0.
- Improve Pitt’s 2018 away record to 5-0, and 4-0 against ACC opponents.
- Extend the Panthers’ win streak against the Demon Deacons to three matches. Pitt’s last (and only) loss to Wake Forest came Oct. 9, 2016 (3-1), in Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Improve the Panthers’ all-time record against Wake Forest to 7-1 overall and 3-1 when playing in Winston-Salem.
- Be Pitt’s first win when playing in Winston-Salem since Oct. 24, 2015 (3-0).
RANKING THE PANTHERS
- Pitt moved up one spot to No. 5 in this week’s edition of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll. This marks the Panthers’ highest national ranking in program history.
- Pitt’s top ranking prior to the 2018 season came in 1990 when the squad was No. 17.
- The Panthers are No. 5 in the fourth release of the NCAA Volleyball Rating Percentage Index (RPI), Monday, Oct 22.
LEADING THE LEAGUE
- Pitt is atop the ACC statistical rankings in assists per set (13.82), hitting percentage (.300), kills per set (14.65) and opponent hitting percentage (.161). The Panthers’ hitting percentage ranks third in the nation.
- Junior middle Layne Van Buskirk is No. 2 in the ACC with 111 total blocks, and ranks third in blocks per set (1.44) and hitting percentage (.388). Sophomore Kayla Lund is third in the league in kills per set (3.87), points per set (4.39) and total service aces (27).
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
- No. 5 Pitt is one of two unbeaten teams in the country (22-0, 10-0 ACC), along with No. 1 BYU (20-0, 10-0 WCC). The Panthers own the longest active win streak in the nation at 22 matches.
- Pitt and BYU have the most wins without a loss against teams currently ranked in the AVCA Top 25 (3-0).
AND THEN THERE WAS…ONE
- By defeating No. 21 Louisville Sunday, Pitt claimed the outright lead in the ACC volleyball standings at 10-0. The victory over the Cards marked the Panthers’ third win against a ranked opponent this season.
WILLIAMS EARNS FIRST ACC WEEKLY HONOR
- Pitt redshirt junior outside hitter Stephanie Williams was named the ACC Co-Player of the Week as announced by the conference Monday afternoon.
- “This is a well-deserved honor for Stephanie,” Panthers head coach Dan Fisher said. “She had a very complete weekend, excelling in all areas of the game against tough competition. I’m happy for her.”
- The honor is the first of her career. She is the third Panther to earn an ACC weekly award this season, joining Kayla Lund (Aug. 27, Sept. 10) and Nika Markovic (Oct. 8). The Panthers have earned the most ACC weekly honors (four) this season of any team in the league.
- The Eastlake, Ohio, native helped Pitt reach a program-best No. 5 ranking as the Panthers defeated Notre Dame (Oct. 19), 3-0, and No. 21 Louisville (Oct. 21), 3-1, in front of a combined 4,163 fans at Fitzgerald Field House over the weekend. Pitt set a program record with 2,152 fans in attendance to watch the Panthers and Cardinals Sunday.
- Williams led Pitt with 3.57 kills per set on a team-best .317 percentage while moving into the program’s top 10 for career kills with her eighth against Notre Dame (Oct. 19). She now sits at No. 10 all-time at Pitt with 1,089 kills. She followed that performance with a season-high 17 kills in a 3-1 win against No. 21 Louisville (Oct. 21). She contributed 3.00 digs per set over the two matches, while notching her second double-double of the season against the Cardinals (17 kills, 10 digs).
SCOUTING THE DEMON DEACONS
- Wake Forest (8-14, 3-7 ACC) is looking to snap a two-match losing streak after falling to Duke (3-2, Oct. 17) and Virginia Tech (3-2, Oct. 19). The Demon Deacons are 6-5 when playing at Reynolds Gym this year, 3-2 in ACC play.
- Sophomore outside hitter Myca Mitchell leads the Demon Deacons with 2.69 kills per set, and senior libero Haley McFadden posts a team-high 3.40 digs per set. Sophomore middle Olivia Saunders blocks 0.95 balls per set to go along with 1.78 kills per frame.
- As a team, Wake Forest hits .189 while allowing opponents a .215 average.
- Wake Forest has played one match against a Top 25 team this season, falling at No. 5 Nebraska, 3-0, Aug. 31.
THE SERIES – WAKE FOREST
- Friday will be the eighth meeting between No. 5 Pitt and Wake Forest, with the Panthers leading the all-time series, 6-1. Pitt has claimed the last two meetings between the programs.
- The Panthers’ lone loss to the Demon Deacons came Oct. 9, 2016, 3-1 in Winston-Salem.
- Pitt is 2-1 all-time when playing at Wake Forest.
· No. 5 Pitt will visit Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. in Durham, N.C. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra, available via the WatchESPN app.