Thomas J. Yang
This weekend was cold and rainy in Pittsburgh, but it didn’t stop the Panthers from taking to the field, pitch and pool in heated competition.
While football conquered their second ACC team in a row, and swimming and diving made waves, men’s soccer faltered and cross country didn’t quite lead the pack.
The Pitt men’s soccer team (8-9, 2-6 ACC) struggled Friday night as they hosted Virginia Tech (9-8, 3-5 ACC) for their last home game of the regular season. The Panthers were unable to convert on any chances, resulting in a shutout to the tune of 3-0.
Virginia Tech rolled the ball in early, as senior forward Marcelo Acuna scored during the 22nd minute — the only goal of the half — and established a lead it would keep throughout the match.
The Panthers came out to start the second half down by one goal, but the Hokies struck them down after two consecutive goals during the 60th and 63rd minutes by Acuna and sophomore forward Brendan Moyers, respectively.
The Panthers offense was no match for the Hokies, with only 10 shots total, four on goal.
The Panthers will will travel to South Bend this Wednesday as they being postseason play in the first round of the ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament. The No. 10 seed Panthers will take on the No. 7 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
This trip will mark the second Pitt has taken to the tournament since joining the ACC in 2013.
Swimming and Diving
The Pitt swimming and diving teams glided past Miami, Michigan State and James Madison this past weekend during the Pink the Pool meet at Trees Pool.
On the swimming side, the Pitt men (2-2, 0-2 ACC) battled against the Michigan State Spartans, claiming 12 victories.
Senior Boris Kulizhnikov posted two wins for the Panthers in the 200 breast, with a time of 2:20.70, and the 200 IM, with a time of 1:52.86. First-year teammate Armin Remenyi also contributed to the victory with two wins for the Panthers — the 200 free, with a time of 1:38.57, and the 500 free, with a time of 4:29.49.
Other victories include junior Aaron Sett in the 1,000 free with a time of 9:21.47, sophomore Eben Vorster in the 200 fly with a time of 1:49.45 and first-year Bence Szucsik in the 100 back with a time of 50.59.
For the women, the Panthers (4-2, 1-2 ACC) claimed 9 victories and dominated Miami (179-121), Michigan State (210-90) and James Madison (223-77).
Sophomore Sarah Giamber claimed the win in the 1,000 free with a time of 10:11.48, as sophomore teammate Shan Hochkeppel followed with the victory in 100 back, 55.70.
“It was good to see our kids compete and win a lot of races today,” Pitt head coach John Hargis said. “I thought they adapted very well.”
Pitt diving also fared well in the competition, with senior Meme Sharp and sophomore Joe Ference placing for the Panthers.
Sharp placed second on the 3-meter platform with a combined score of 324.7 and placed fifth on the 1-meter springboard with a combined score of 234.85. Ference took second on the 1-meter with a combined score of 316.9 and third on the 3-meter with a score of 241.9.
“We took a step in the right direction tonight,” Pitt diving coach Katie Hazelton said. “When there was a dive that didn’t go how we hoped, we were able to react positively and make the next dive successful, which was tremendous to see.”
The Panthers take the road this weekend, traveling to New Jersey to take on the Rutgers, Seton Hall, Georgetown and Villanova in a two-day meet.
The Panthers cross country team took to the road this past weekend, traveling to Louisville to compete in the ACC Championships at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.
The men and women both finished in 10th place out of the 15 competing teams.
Sophomore Nick Wolk placed 42nd in the men’s 8K, with a time of 24:23.2, proving to be the Panthers’ top male finisher of the day. Ryan Hughes followed close behind, placing 50th with a time of 24:29.6.
Junior Gillian Schriever led the women’s side in the 6K, placing 36th with a time of 21:14.3. Following Schriever among the top 50 was junior Miranda Salvo, placing 38th with a time of 21:18.6, and senior Amy Kelly, taking 44th place with a time of 21:29.9.
The Panthers will take the road next week to Bethlehem, to complete in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional.
The Panthers (16-6, 9-2 ACC) were unable to get past the Louisville Cardinals (16-6, 10-2 ACC) last Friday, resulting in their second straight loss in ACC play, 3-2.
The Panthers battled the Cardinals in five close sets.
During the first set, Pitt stuck to Louisville but were unable to grab the win with a score of 25-23. The Panthers spent the set playing catch-up but were able surpass the Cardinals by 10 points, with a score of 14. However, Louisville came back and regained the lead.
In set twp, Pitt claiming the win with a score of 25-15. The Cardinals held the Panthers at a close match during the start of the set, but the Panthers were able to surpass, gaining the lead.
The Cardinals breezed by the Panthers in the third set with a score of 25-18, claiming the win.
But the Panthers tied the match 2-2 after winning the fourth set with a score of 25-19. The Panthers took advantage of errors from the Cardinals, which granted them an early lead.
Pitt was unable to continue its luck, though, ultimately falling to the Cardinals during the fifth set with a score of 15-12. The Panthers held an early lead with a score of 5-2, but were unable to maintain it, losing overall.
The Panthers were able to turn their luck around Sunday, though, as they continued their road trip to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. The Panthers (17-6, 10-2 ACC) swept the Fighting Irish (16-7, 6-6 ACC) in all three sets.
During the first set, Pitt dominated Notre Dame, earning the win on the first set 25-16. The Fighting Irish were close to the Panthers halfway through the set, but their success was short-lived as the Panthers pulled away.
Pitt continued their lead against Notre Dame, taking another win in the second set with a score of 25-16. The Panthers ended the set with a hitting percentage of .370, and an impressive 15 kills compared to Notre Dame’s 10.
Despite falling behind the Fighting Irish by seven points in the third set, the Panthers regained control and took the win, 25-21, ultimately sealing their 3-0 victory.
On the day, three Panthers put up double-digits kills. Redshirt sophomore Stephanie Williams led the way with 13, followed by sophomore Nika Markovic’s 12 and first-year Kayla Lund’s 10.
The team as a whole also finished the day with 44 kills to Notre Dame’s 27, and a hitting percentage double that of the Irish.
The Panthers return home this weekend to battle two ACC teams. They will face Miami on Friday at 7 p.m. and Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Field House.
The Cavaliers lined up at the Panthers’ 1-yard line, prepared to close their deficit, but the Pitt defense held steady, effectively eradicating Virginia’s chance of winning. The Panthers stood victorious when the game ended, 31-14.
“We focused on two major things today, running the ball and stopping the run,” head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “I felt that we did that today.”
The Panthers (4-5 overall, 2-3 ACC) entered their Saturday matchup with Virginia (5-3 overall, 2-2 ACC) fresh off their defeat of the Duke Blue Devils.
See the full recap here.