Weekend sports recap: Trio of Pitt gymnasts compete at NCAA regionals

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Thomas Yang | Senior Staff Photographer

Three Panthers qualified for the NCAA regional meet — junior Katie Chamberlain, sophomore Lauren Beckwith, and graduate Katrina Coca (pictured). Chamberlain was scratched before the meet began due to injury, while Beckwith and Coca scored 9.9 and 9.7, respectively, on the bars.

By Griffin Floyd, Staff Writer

Pitt sports had an eventful weekend, with the gymnastics team finishing its season at the National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Regional Meet in Morgantown, West Virginia, volleyball concluding its regular season with a pair of conference matchups and softball continuing its difficult season at home in a series against Louisville.

Gymnastics

Three Panthers qualified for the NCAA regional meet — junior Katie Chamberlain, sophomore Lauren Beckwith and graduate Katrina Coca.

Chamberlain was scratched before the meet began due to injury, while Beckwith and Coca scored 9.9 and 9.7 on the beam, respectively.

Beckwith scored well for third place. She still awaits the announcement of NCAA National Qualifiers for individual competitors. While the team matchups have already been revealed, the 16 gymnasts who will compete as individuals have not.

Volleyball

No. 18 Pitt volleyball swept both of its matches in Clemson, South Carolina, this weekend to conclude a 16-4 season.

The Panthers played the Tigers on Thursday, winning in three sets on the back of 11 kills by junior Jordan Lockwood and 18 assists by sophomore Lexis Akeo, by scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-17.

Pitt played the Virginia Tech Hokies on Friday, also at Clemson, with senior Chinaza Ndee (14 kills) and redshirt senior Kylee Levers (19 assists) standing out for the Panthers. They won the first set in a landslide, 25-11, but the Hokies didn’t roll over easily, closing the gap in each of the next two frames, 25-18 and 25-21.

Their biggest win of the weekend, however, was their selection to the 2021 NCAA tournament in Omaha, Nebraska, which they will kick off on Wednesday, April 15, against the Long Island University Sharks.

Softball

In the first game of the series, Louisville’s redshirt junior pitcher Taylor Roby stifled the Panthers offense through five innings while the Cardinal bats put up six runs — four earned — on Pitt’s redshirt senior Brittany Knight. Sophomore third baseman Kayla Lane got things going offensively for Pitt with a solo home run, scoring the first of four Panther runs that inning, but graduate pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt closed out the home team with a scoreless seventh for a 6-4 final.

Louisville started the scoring once again in the Saturday game, with first baseman Makayla Hurst roping an RBI single to center field in the top of the first inning. The Panthers wasted no time answering back, courtesy of a grand slam off the bat of their own first baseman, junior Sarah Seamans. The Cardinals shut Pitt out the rest of the way, however, and hung six more runs on junior Abby Edwards over the final six innings for a 7-4 finish.

The Panthers took the Sunday matinee to avoid the sweep, winning a 9-7 shootout that saw four lead changes. Five Pitt players recorded at least one RBI, including another dinger by Lane, whose two-run shot in the sixth closed the Cardinals lead to one. Graduate student catcher Walker Barbee drilled a three-run blast over the left-field wall in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off victory.

Pitt is now 10-20 on the season and 5-15 in conference play. 

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