Weekend sports recap | Men’s basketball stay on top of the ACC, women’s lacrosse start the season with a win


TPN File Photo

Senior Pitt wrestler Cole Matthews celebrates a win against Arizona State’s Cleveland Belton on Jan. 14, 2022.

By David Scott, Staff Writer

Pitt athletics stayed active over the weekend, with swimming and diving, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, track and field, wrestling, gymnastics, women’s lacrosse and softball all competing over the weekend.

From cross-town wins to record-setting performances, here is how the Panthers fared in their competitions.

Track and Field

Pitt track and field shattered records this weekend. The Panthers set new top-10 records during the Tiger Paw Invitational hosted by Clemson on Friday and Saturday. 

On day one, junior Emily Brown placed second in the women’s mile with a new personal best and claimed the eighth-best time in program history. She set another personal best on day two in the women’s 3000m, securing first place with a time of 9:44:86 seconds. That is the ninth-best time in program history.

Senior Jack Balick grabbed a personal best in the men’s 800m, placing seventh at the invitational and securing the fourth-best time in program history. First-year Che Nwabuko set a personal best in the men’s 200m, which was good for fourth-best in Pitt history.

Sophomore Stephon Brown also got a personal best in the 200m, which was fifth-best in Pitt history. Senior Imani Clark ran a 23.92 in the women’s 200m — a personal best and sixth-best in program history. First-year Aleksandra Stoilova also entered the record book with the 10th-best women’s 200m in program history. 

Sophomore Caleia Johnson, Imani Clark, Senior Lydia Bottelier and Grad Student Nikki Scherer combined for the ninth best women’s 4x400m in program history.

Pitt track and field heads to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on Friday for the Bucknell Tune Up.


Pitt softball went 3-1 over the weekend, playing four games at the NFCA Classic in Clearwater, Florida. They opened the season with a tough loss to Indiana, losing 17-5. The game came down to a brutal third inning where the Hoosiers scored 14 runs, running away with the contest.

In their second game of the day, the Panthers bounced back and shut out Prairie View 5-0. Junior outfielder Cami Compson hit her second career triple in the affair and senior outfielder Bailey Drapola stole a career-high four bases in the win.

In their third game, Pitt battled against No. 21 Auburn, coming out on top 8-7. The Panthers scored eight runs on 11 hits in the victory. Graduate infielder Sarah Seamans led the Panthers going three for four with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore catcher Rachel Fuerst went two for three with an RBI. 

The Panthers capped off their weekend with a 7-3 win over Fordham. Sophomore pitcher Dani Drogemuller had an incredible day, pitching a complete game and striking out 10 batters while only giving up three runs. Drapola continued her good weekend going two for four with two RBIs, and senior infielder Kayla Lane scored a run and stole two bases in the win.

The Panthers are back on the diamond Friday through Sunday for the Panther Invitational Tournament hosted by FIU.


Pitt gymnastics competed at the EAGL Quad this weekend, beating NC State but falling to Towson and Temple. Sophomore Hallie Copperwheat and first-year Natalia Pawlak both set new career-high scores on the bars, matching the program best and tying for first overall. 

Copperwheat finished the event with an all-around score of 39.275 and earned third-place overall at the meet.

The Panthers return to Pittsburgh on Feb, 19 to host UNC for the annual Pride Meet.


No. 17 Pitt fell to No. 6 NC State this weekend in a competitive match. Despite the lopsided 23-9 score, the Panthers were in every match until the end, but ultimately fell short.

“We lost some key bouts tonight, close ones that we knew would be close coming into it,” Pitt head coach Keith Gavin said. “They won those, and we didn’t. That swung the dual their way. Disappointed with the result, but it’s an opportunity for feedback that we need to use to get better down the stretch.”

No. 3 senior Cole Matthews won a 4-2 decision in the loss and No. 1 senior Nino Bonaccorsi stayed undefeated winning a ten-minute 6-4 decision.

The Panthers can clinch a share of the ACC regular season championship with a win over Duke at home next Saturday.

Men’s Basketball

Pitt men’s basketball held on to first in the ACC with an 83-75 victory over Florida State. The Panthers’ stars shined bright. Graduate guard Jamarius Burton continued his All-American campaign, scoring 19 points and tallying five rebounds and six assists. 

Junior forward Blake Hinson put up 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, and senior guard Nike Sibande posted 12 points, four rebounds and two steals. Sophomore center Federiko Federiko held down the Pitt defense, putting up eight points with three blocks and 13 rebounds.

The Panthers return home for a Valentine’s Day special on Tuesday against Boston College.

Women’s Lacrosse

Pitt women’s lacrosse kicked off their second season with a 16-10 win over Duquesne. This is the second year in a row that the Panthers started their season off with a win over the Dukes.

“We are really excited to get our first win,” said Head Coach Emily Boissonneault after the game. “This game meant a lot to us. A lot of firsts — first time starters, first goals, first saves. It was really important to get those jitters out of the way. We are really excited about the win and looking forward to the next steps and closing the gaps and holes we saw today.”

Ten different Panthers scored goals in the victory, with senior attacker Camdyn O’Donnell and sophomore attacker Sydney Naylor both scoring three.

Pitt heads to New York next to face Binghamton on Thursday.

Women’s Basketball

Pitt women’s basketball won a double overtime thriller against Georgia Tech on Sunday, defeating the Yellow Jackets 85-79. Senior guard Channise Lewis sent the game to overtime with a buzzer-beater three-pointer and the Panthers battled to a win from there.

First-year guard Avery Strickland led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points and four rebounds. Senior guard Dayshanette Harris put up 15 points, three rebounds and two assists in the win as well. Junior forward Liatu King was active around the rim, scoring 13 points while also grabbing 13 rebounds and adding an assist. The win against Georgia Tech is Pitt’s second conference win this season.

The Panthers will return home to host Boston College on Thursday.

Swimming and Diving

Pitt swim and dive saw 13 swimmers set personal bests at the Ohio State Invitational. First-years Ece Tanriverdi and Rachel Soubier recorded personal bests in the women’s 500-yard freestyle. Sophomores Mia Sunseri and Jayla Pina made the finals of the women’s 200-yard medley with personal bests. First-year Maya Gendzel and sophomore Jill Berger each set personal bests in the women’s 100-yard butterfly, and junior Olivia Livingston hit a personal best in the women’s 50-yard freestyle.

On the men’s side of things, first-year Michael Rine, first-year Drew Jalbert, first-year Alex Craft, junior Wesley Kephart and senior Jered Moore set personal bests in multiple events.

Pitt women’s lacrosse players celebrate during Pitt’s opening season game at Duquesne on Saturday.
(Nate Yonamine | Staff Photographer)