Volleyball Falls in Five Sets to Pitt, 3-2
Sept. 21, 2010
PITTSBURGH, PA -- The GW Volleyball team faced its third opponent from the Big East Conference Tuesday and fell to Pittsburgh, 3-2, at Pitt's Fitzgerald Field House. The Panthers won by the scores, 27-25, 23-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13 in a two-hour, 16-minute nail-biter.
In the Colonials' closest match of the season, the teams battled through 15 lead changes and no fewer than 32 ties. The first set alone featured six lead changes and 12 ties, the last coming at 25-25 before a pair of Colonials' attack errors gave the set to the Panthers.
Pitt led throughout much of the second set before a bad set by the Pathers tied it at 21-21. Three different Colonials executed kills, including the set-winner by freshman Rachael Goss, to give GW the 25-23 win. Neither team led by more than three points in the third set as the Colonials pulled away from a 24-23 advantage and won the set on a kill from Whyte.
In set four, Pitt pulled away from a 10-8 lead with an 8-3 run and coasted to the 25-17 victory.
GW took control early in the decisive fifth set building a 5-1 lead behind a pair of Whyte kills. Pitt rallied to within 8-7 on a kill by Jenn Katona forcing GW to burn a timeout. Another Katona kill knotted the set at 8-8 before a Katie Zulandt kill put GW up, 9-8. MacKenzie Knox committed an attack error followed by a kill to tie the set at 10-10. A kill by Pitt's Kiesha Leggs followed by a Pitt block staked the Panthers to a 12-10 lead and the Colonials used another timeout. An Imani Harper kill gave Pitt a 13-10 advantage. A pair of kills from Whyte brought GW to within 13-12 before another Harper kill put Pitt at match point, 14-12. MacKenzie Knox answered with a kill to make it 14-13 but another kill from Town ended the match, 15-13.
The Colonials combined to hit .222 (70-28-189) while Pitt had a .260 team attack percentage (64-19-173) while GW combined to hit .205 (37-14-112) for the match.
For the second time in less than a week, Whyte recorded her career high in kills, Tuesday night with 28. Aside from Whyte's offensive outburst, junior MacKenzie Knox hit .476 on 12 kills in 21 attacks with a pair of block solos for 14.5 points. Sophomore libero Candace Silva-Martin had a match-high 24 digs against the Panthers. Senior Katie Zulandt added nine kills and four blocks for 12.5 points. Setter Katie Crosby assisted on her season-high 63 of GW's 70 kills (90%) and added eight digs.
Pittsburgh (5-10) was led by Imani Harper's team-high 19 kills and 10 blocks while hitting .447. Town added 16 kills and 11 digs while Margy Acton and Melanie Feldman led the Panthers with 17 digs each. Pitt head coach Toby Rens served as an assistant volleyball coach at GW from 1994-97. The Colonials are now 1-2 against teams from the Big East this season with a 3-1 victory over Georgetown and a pair of 5-set losses to St. John's and Pitt.
GW (9-6, 0-0 A-10) next plays at Howard (3-12) on Friday at 7 p.m before it hosts Charlotte (9-5, 0-0 A-10) in the A-10 opener Saturday at 7 p.m. at Charles E. Smith Center.