Women’s basketball, track and field pick up big wins during busy Pitt athletics weekend

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Marcus Snowden/Pitt Athletics

Pitt sophomore forward Bertin Jacquesson (10) kicks the ball down the field during Saturday evening’s game against the University of Notre Dame at Alumni Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

By Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

Pitt athletics had another busy weekend. This included several postseason matches, the beginning of conference schedules and multiple individual achievements across sports. Here’s how the Panthers fared in their various competitions.

Football:
Pitt (11-2, 8-1 ACC) won the 2021 ACC Championship game when it defeated Wake Forest on Saturday, 45-21. The No. 12 Panthers will complete their season in Atlanta, Georgia, where they’ll face No. 10 Michigan State in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30.

Men’s Basketball:
The Panthers (2-6, 0-1 ACC) lost in a heartbreaker to Virginia (6-3, 1-0 ACC) on Friday, falling 57-56 on a last-second shot that hit every part of the rim before going through. Pitt will compete in the Gotham Classic next, starting with a home matchup against Colgate on Thursday at 8 p.m. The ACC Network will broadcast the game.

Men’s Soccer:

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The fifth-seeded Panthers lost their third-straight game to Notre Dame. This one was decided on penalty kicks as the Irish eliminated Pitt from the NCAA Tournament in the Elite Eight. 

Volleyball:

Third-seeded Pitt swept its weekend matches in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, both played at the Petersen Events Center. It first defeated UMBC in straight sets on Saturday, then defeated in-state rival Penn State in four sets on Sunday. Pitt will host Kansas on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. This match will be broadcast on ESPN Plus.

Women’s Basketball:

Pitt (7-2, 0-0 ACC) continued its hot start to the season on Saturday, with a 64-54 road win against Ball State (4-3, 0-0 MAC). Junior forward Amber Brown collected a double-double, with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Taisha Exanor also contributed 11 points off the bench. Senior guard Jayla Everett had an off night, only scoring eight points on just two of eight from the field, and the Panthers turned the ball over 22 times to Ball State’s nine.

The Panthers will host Coppin State on Tuesday for their next game. This game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra at 6 p.m.

Swimming and Diving:

Four Pitt swimmers competed at the U.S. Open from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Juniors Daisy Anderson, Jerry Chen, Tatum Detwiler and sophomore Sophie Yendell represented the Panthers. Yendell finished 22nd with a 26.57-second time in the women’s 50-meter freestyle, and Detwiler finished with a 1:14.41 time in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. 

Chen and Anderson both competed in multiple events. Anderson finished with a 5:02.55 time in the women’s 400-meter individual medley and a 2:20.75 time in the 200-meter medley. She also finished with a 2:16.41 in the women’s 200-meter backstroke, good enough for ninth place. Chen competed in only two races, and finished in the top 15 of both. He finished ninth in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke with a 1:03.11 time, and 12th in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke with a 2:21.33 time.

The Panthers will continue their season by competing at the USA Winter Diving Nationals from Dec. 13 to Dec. 19.

Track and Field:

The indoor track and field team won 10 events at the Youngstown State Icebreaker on Friday. Graduate student Felix Wolter recorded a long jump of 25 feet and 4.75 inches, good enough to win the long jump event. Fellow graduate student Kollin Smith came in second place with a jump of 24 feet and 7 inches. 

Another grad student, Breanna Phillips, won the 400-meter dash in 55.33 seconds. Senior Flora Ahiarakwe, graduate student Kamryn McIntosh and first year Caleia Johnson finished second, third and fourth respectively in the same race. Pitt also collected wins in both 800-meter races, the 60-meter dash, both 4×400 relays, women’s high jump, women’s long jump and men’s weight throw.

Next, the Panthers will compete in the Nittany Lion Challenge on Jan. 15.