PITTSBURGH – The Virginia Cavaliers (2-9, 0-9 ACC) fell late at No. 22 Pitt (6-4, 5-4 ACC) on Saturday night, 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25), at Fitzgerald Field House.
With the sets tied, 1-1, an ace by Sarah Billiard tied the third set at 19 apiece. UVA lost the next three points and found itself in a hole late in a pivotal third set. The Cavaliers responded and was able to reach a one-point deficit, 24-23, after an attack error by Pitt’s Sabrina Starks. Christine’s subsequent attack error gave the Panthers a narrow 25-23 victory.
Pitt went on to win set four, 25-17, and take the match 3-1. Virginia received 11 kills each from Jayna Francis and Czhen Beneby, while Megan Wilson notched 39 assists in the losing effort.
SET 1: Pitt 25-20
The first set was a back and forth affair for most of the frame. There were 10 ties, the last coming at 15-15, courtesy of an attack error by Pitt’s Sabrina Starks. Trailing 20-17, UVA mounted a 3-1 spurt to get within one point, 21-20. Jarman’s service ace capped the run.
UVA didn’t score again as Pitt reeled off five-straight points to take the opening set.
SET 2: Virginia 25-22
After three early ties, UVA found itself behind for much of the first half of the set. The Cavaliers were behind 11-9 when thy quickly tied the set, 12-12. An attack error by Pitt’s Chinaza Ndee put UVA up for good, 13-12.
Ndee did make it a one-point set, 22-21, with a kill. However used kills by Francis and Beneby, coupled with a Pitt attack error to secure the set in UVA’s favor.
SET 3: Pitt 25-23
Trailing 15-6, UVA mounted a comeback to make the third frame interesting. It started with a 6-0 Cavalier run. Mattison Matthews notched a kill to cap the streak and bring UVA within three, 15-12.
UVA tied the set, 19-19, on the Billiard ace. But that was as close as the Cavaliers got in the third frame.
SET 4: Pitt 25-17
The fourth set started promising as the Cavaliers and Panthers were tied at 3-3. Slowly the Panthers created separation after a serious of mini runs by each team saw the score knotted at 16-16. Another Billiard service ace capped 3-0 UVA spurt.
Pitt started rolling, finishing the set on a 9-1 streak to solidify the victory. After a kill by Francis made it 18-17, Pitt scored the match’s last seven points to close out the victory.
The Cavaliers will stay in Pittsburgh and play a neutral site match tomorrow afternoon against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m.