Layne Van Buskirk earns second ACC Freshman of the Week award


Alex Mowrey

Pitt first-year middle blocker Layne Van Buskirk has already been named ACC Volleyball Freshman of the Week twice in 2016. Courtesy of Pitt Media Relations/Alex Mowrey

Middle blocker Layne Van Buskirk keeps making an impact in her first year with the Pitt volleyball team, earning her second ACC Volleyball Freshman of the Week award on Monday.

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Van Buskirk racked up 23 kills on 35 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage in Pitt’s wins over the weekend against Virginia Tech and Virginia. She registered 12 kills, three blocks and two digs against the Hokies, then put up 11 kills without an error against the Cavaliers.

Van Buskirk was also named ACC Volleyball Freshman of the Week on Sept. 19 for her performance in the Panther Challenge tournament, leading the Panthers to a 2-1 showing against Western Kentucky, Lehigh and Robert Morris.

In the Panther Challenge, Van Buskirk tallied 26 kills in 45 attempts for a .444 hitting percentage. Her team-leading .419 hitting percentage on the season is the best mark in the ACC and 10th in the nation.

Van Buskirk’s honor comes on the same day of the release of the initial 2016 NCAA volleyball Rating Percentage Index, which measures strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. The Panthers lie just outside the top 25 at No. 28 in the RPI, currently boasting a 13-3 record overall and 4-0 mark in the ACC.

Pitt’s No. 28 RPI ranking is third best in the ACC behind North Carolina and Florida State.

The Panthers have now won six matches in a row as they begin a stretch of four straight conference road games at Duke, Wake Forest, Miami and Florida State.