Weekend sports recap: Men’s soccer, volleyball advance in NCAA tournament, men’s basketball gains momentum


Hannah Wilson | Senior Staff Photographer

Josh Luchini (19), left, graduate student forward competes for the ball against Tyler Robertson (2), junior guard/forward during Saturday’s game at Pitt’s Ambrose Urbanic Field.

By Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

With the fall semester nearing its end, Pitt students started preparing for final exams and trips back home with haste. But the athletes still had games to play and events to win before they could celebrate the holidays. Here’s how they did. 

Swimming and Diving:

Pitt swimmers competed in the Minnesota Invitational starting on Wednesday and ending on Saturday. The Panthers had a decent day one performance, placing seventh out of 24 groups in the women’s 200-yard medley relay. First-year Claire Jansen, senior Tatem Detwiler, junior Sophie Yendell and senior Kate Fuhrmann finished with a 1:38.63 time.

On day two, Yendell made some noise again as she finished third in the women’s 50-yard freestyle. Then on Day Three, she set a new Pitt butterfly record with a 53.43-second time. Senior Cooper Van der Laan also had some good finishes on the last day, including third in the 100-yard breaststroke (52.14), and fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:55.25).

Up next, the divers travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, to compete in the USA Diving Winter Nationals. The week-long event starts on Dec. 11.

Track and Field:

Pitt kicked off its indoor track season at the Youngstown St. Icebreaker on Friday and picked up some favorable results. Sophomore Mackenzie Sullivan won the women’s 800-meter run with a 2:18.13 time, just more than one-tenth a second faster than second place. Sophomore Caleia Johnson had the fastest time in the women’s 200-meter dash with a 24.69-second time. Pitt also won the 4×400-meter relay with a 3:47.82 time.

On the men’s side, sophomore Stephon Brown won the 60-meter dash in just 6.73 seconds, while first-year Devin Nugent placed first in the 800-meter run (1:53.00). Pitt swept both 4×400-meter relays, as the men finished first with a time of 3:14.19.

For their next meet, the track team travels to Louisville on Jan. 14 to participate in the Lenny Lyles Invitational.

Men’s Basketball:

The Panthers (6-3, 1-0 ACC) took a trip to Raleigh on Friday to face off against NC State (7-2, 0-1 ACC) in their first conference game of the season. Pitt was up by as many as 12 in the last 10 minutes of the game, and the Wolfpack shaved it down to as little as six. But Pitt stood strong and defeated the home team 68-60.

Junior guard Jamarius Burton scored 24 points on 9-14 shooting while also dishing out four assists. Redshirt senior guard Nike Sibande scored 10 points off the bench and graduate student guard Greg Elliott grabbed a surprising nine rebounds in the win. 

The Panthers travel to Nashville for their next game in a matchup with Vanderbilt on Wednesday. The SEC Network will broadcast the game starting at 9 p.m.


The No. 2 seed Panthers hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in the Madison regional. They defeated Colgate in the first round in straight sets (25-16, 25-14, 25-14), then did the same against 7-seed BYU (25-21, 25-22, 25-18).

Pitt will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, and face off against No. 6 Florida in the Sweet 16 on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Men’s Soccer:

The Panthers hosted the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday and squeaked past the Portland Pilots 1-0 to earn their second trip to the College Cup in three seasons. Senior midfielder Valentine Noel scored the game’s only goal in the second overtime period.

The Panthers have a rematch with No. 13 seed Indiana in the College Cup semifinals on Friday. ESPNU will broadcast the game at 8:30 p.m.


The No. 17 Panthers (3-1, 0-0 ACC) traveled to Urbana-Champaign for a road match with Illinois (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten) on Saturday, and handily defeated the Illini 30-6.

Redshirt junior Colton Camacho gave Pitt a hot start with a pin in the first bout (125 lbs), and by the time the Illini notched a bout win, the Panthers were already up 21-0. Senior Dazjon Casto sealed the victory with another pin in the 157-pound bout, and senior heavyweight Jake Slinger wrapped up the duel with a 2-0 victory in the final bout.

Pitt will continue their road trip on Friday when they face off against Brown in Providence at 6:30 p.m.