Weekend Sports Recap: Volleyball machine rolls through Virginia Tech


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Chinaza Ndee returns the ball. Pitt Volleyball swept Virginia Tech on Sunday evening, with Ndee contributing 8 kills.

By Ben Mankowski, Staff Writer

Pitt volleyball dominated the weekend and opened ACC play with a resounding 3-0 sweep of Virginia Tech, both soccer teams fought to draws in conference games and Pitt swimming and diving opened its season winning 11 of 12 races in a relay-only meet.

Swimming and diving

Pitt swimming and diving started the weekend off by winning 11 of 12 races, dominating a relay-only meet with cross-Oakland rival Carnegie Mellon.

Trees Pool was decorated with Pitt’s updated colors for the first time as the women won a perfect six for six races, while the men went five for six.

First-year Kayla Graham was one of the many first-years to shine on Friday night, taking first in the women’s butterfly. Seniors Samy Helmbacher and Eben Vorster began their final season as Panthers with a win after competing internationally over the summer.

The 11 race wins on Friday showcased strong depth for the Panthers, who travel to Coral Gables next for a two-day meet with Miami on Oct. 4 and 5.

Men’s soccer

The Pitt men faced off against Syracuse in a double-overtime thriller on Friday night, batting the Orange to a 1-1 draw.

The Panthers found themselves down early after the Orange scored off of a header in the 18th minute to jump out to a 1-0 lead. The score was evened up at 1-1 in the 37th minute thanks to first-year midfielder Veljko Petkovic netting his third goal of the season. Petkovic led the team with four shots on goal throughout the game.

The Panthers gained an advantage in the 51st minute after an Orange player earned his second yellow card, but they were unable to capitalize. Petkovic, in the 94th minute, was issued his second yellow card, resulting in an even playing field once again.

The first overtime was dominated by the Orange’s three shots on goal, but the Panthers held strong on defense to force the second overtime. Syracuse controlled the ball in convincing fashion with another three shots on goal but still had nothing to show for it. Pitt’s strong defense forced the game to end in a tie after double overtime.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Arie Ammann was a stalwart in goal for the Panthers, recording a career-high nine saves on the night.

Men’s soccer looks forward to a home match against the University of Denver on Monday at 7 p.m.

Volleyball vs. Virginia Tech

No. 4 Pitt volleyball continued ACC play at home on Sunday afternoon against Virginia Tech. The Panthers flexed their muscles and made quick work of the Hokies, capturing a victory in straight sets in front of a home crowd.

The first set was won by the Panthers 25-14 behind an outstanding .500 hitting percentage, backed up with eight combined kills from junior Kayla Lund and sophomore Sabrina Starks.

After falling behind in the second set, Pitt rallied and surged late to win the set 25-22. The third set started 5-5, but the talent of the Panthers prevailed, ending the set with a score of 25-18.

With the win in the third set, the Panthers completed the sweep of Virginia Tech. 

Senior Kayla Lund led the Panthers with 12 kills and hit .579 for the match.

Women’s soccer at Miami

Women’s soccer fell behind early to Miami on Sunday night, as the Hurricanes ravaged the Panthers’ defense for a third-minute goal.

The Panthers came into the second half down but unfazed and netted three goals to counter a pair of scores from the Hurricanes, leaving the score knotted at 3. Overtime ensued after regulation time ended with a 3-3 score.

Overtime one was dominated by the Hurricanes, who outshot the Panthers five to two, but the Panthers held strong despite the pressure to force a second overtime. It was the same story in the second overtime, resulting in a 3-3 tie between the Hurricanes and Panthers.

The Panthers will return to the Sunshine State next weekend to take on Florida State. Kick off against the Seminoles is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.