Sept. 29, 2017
PITTSBURGH – The Virginia volleyball team (4-11, 0-4 ACC) fell 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-17) at Pitt (10-4, 3-0 ACC) on Friday night at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh.
Freshman Alex Spencer (Canton, Ohio) led the Cavaliers with 10 kills. Sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) added seven kills and junior Harley Sebastian (Atlanta, Ga.) had six. Nika Markovic finished with 17 kills to lead Pitt.
Novakovic scored the first two points for Virginia, but Pitt had the early advantage with a 5-2 lead. The Cavaliers cut it to 6-4 on a block by Sebastian and sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) before a 4-0 run put Pitt up 10-4. The Panthers put together another run that was halted by a kill by Spencer as Pitt took a 17-7 lead. A 3-0 run for UVA with kills by Spencer and Sebastian along with a block by Novakovic and senior Haley Fauntleroy (Winnetka, Ill.) cut Pitt’s lead to 18-10. Pitt held on to take the set 25-14.
Spencer opened the second set with a kill as UVA was on the board first. The Cavaliers were down 5-2, when a kill by Novakovic and error for the Panthers cut it to 5-4. Virginia had a 4-1 run with kills by Spencer, Sebastian and Anukwuem capped off by an ace for sophomore Jane Horner (Mission Viejo, Calif.) to tie the set 8-8. A solo block by Young tied the set again, 10-10. UVA then had a 3-0 run that included a kill by sophomore Kiley Banker (West Lafayette, Ind.) and ace for Wilson to take a 13-11 lead, forcing a Pitt timeout. The Panthers came back to tie it up as the teams began trading points. The Cavaliers had a 19-18 edge as Pitt called its second timeout of the set. Pitt responded with five of the next six points to take a 23-20 lead. UVA held off two set-points to cut it to 24-23, but Pitt would win 25-23.
Pitt scored the first three points of the third set but a kill by Novakovic then a block by Young and Sebastian closed it to 3-2. Pitt would use a 3-0 run to take a 7-3 lead. UVA used a 4-1 run with two kills by Spencer, to cut it to 11-9. The Cavaliers kept answering the Panthers until a 6-1 run put Pitt in the lead 18-11. A kill by Sebastian then an ace for Novakovic cut it to five, 18-13. A kill by Banker and back-to-back kills by Spencer made it 20-16, but Pitt closed out the set with five of the next six points to clinch the win.
Virginia trailed Pitt in hitting percentage, .410-.175. The Cavaliers led in aces, 3-2, and blocks, 8.0-7.5. Pitt had the advantage in digs, 42-32.
The Cavaliers will return home to host Notre Dame on Friday, Oct. 6 and Louisville on Sunday, Oct. 8 at Memorial Gymnasium.