CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (8-6, 0-1 ACC) could not slow No. 4 Pittsburgh (12-1, 1-0 ACC), as the Panthers earned a 25-11, 25-17, 25-21, sweep on Wednesday night (Sept. 25) in Memorial Gymnasium.
Freshman Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.) led the Cavaliers with 10 kills in the match. Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) put home another eight kills for Virginia.
Pitt was paced by Kayla Lund with a dozen kills while Stephanie Williams added 11 to the dynamic Panther attack. Pitt hit .409 in the match, the highest mark of a Virginia opponent since 2017.
SET 1: Pitt 25-11
Pitt used five aces to race away with the opening set. Williams had a pair of aces in the frame along with seven kills. After trading the first four points of the match, the Panthers went on an 8-2 run to make it a 10-4 lead. Pitt continued its momentum out of a timeout, growing the advantage to 17-7. The Panthers hit .520 in the first set.
SET 2: Pitt 25-17
Another five aces helped the Panthers earn the second set in comfortable fashion. After Pitt built a 5-2 lead early, Virginia closed within two at 9-7 thanks to a kill from Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.).
Pitt responded with an 8-0 run just points later, keyed by four kills from Lund. With the 19-9 lead, the Panthers cruised to a 2-0 advantage in the match.
SET 3: Pitt 25-21
Virginia pushed Pitt in the final frame behind four kills and a pair of blocks from Francis. Neither team led by more than two points through the 15-point mark. Chinaza Ndee floored a kill for the Panthers to make it 17-15 and start a 6-2 Pitt run that proved the difference.
• Francis set a career high with four blocks against the Panthers.
• Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) was 2-for-5 in attack but added four blocks, including a solo rejection.
• Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.) produced three kills on four swings and added three total blocks.
Virginia will look to bounce back on Friday (Sept. 27) against rival Virginia Tech in the first meeting of the season series. The match is part of the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 and is worth one half point in the overall series.