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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Christmas trees in Schenley Plaza.
‘Christmas Day at Pitt’ gathers community for free meals, clothes and gifts
By Spencer Levering, Senior Staff Writer • December 8, 2023

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Christmas trees in Schenley Plaza.
‘Christmas Day at Pitt’ gathers community for free meals, clothes and gifts
By Spencer Levering, Senior Staff Writer • December 8, 2023

Must-watch athletics events this fall

The start of fall sports season is on the horizon. Senior staff writer Jack Markowski highlights what Pitt athletic events are must-watch this semester for new students.
Must-watch+athletics+events+this+fall
Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

Fall sports season is almost upon us, representing an exciting time at Pitt with plenty of athletic events scheduled over the course of the next few months worth indulging in. Keep an eye out for some of these must-watch events throughout the course of fall semester. 

Volleyball vs. BYU at Ellesyn Invitational: Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.

Pitt volleyball has emerged as a national powerhouse and championship contender year in and year out. The Panthers finished 2022 with a 31-4 overall record and a 17-1 record in ACC play on their way to a Final Four appearance as the No. 2 national seed in the NCAA tournament. 

Pitt’s first opponent of the 2023 season is BYU in a rematch of last year’s round of 32 tournament matchup. The Panthers swept the Cougars, who went 22-7 on the season last year, 3-0 in that bout at the Petersen Events Center. 

Pitt, in their quest for another ACC title and deep postseason run, can benefit greatly from opening their season against a quality opponent that has revenge on its mind. The Panthers will also face Montana and Texas Rio Grande Valley on Aug. 26 and Aug. 27, respectively, as part of the Ellesyn Invitational in Missoula, Montana. 

Football at West Virginia: Sep. 16 at 7:30 p.m. 

The Backyard Brawl is one of college football’s most historic and contentious rivalries, while also epitomizing what makes the sport so special. 

Pitt and West Virginia renewed the Brawl for the first time in over a decade last season as the Panthers earned a 38-31 win in exhilarating fashion. Pitt boasts a 62-40-3 record in the series, but building on that record could prove tough this year as they are tasked with navigating a rowdy crowd in Morgantown. 

Both sides lost a number of key contributors from last year’s squads, giving this season’s game a new look and sense of unpredictability. The 106th installment of the Brawl will air nationally on ABC and is Pitt’s first road game of the season, providing a true test out of the gate.

Men’s soccer at Syracuse: Sep. 22 at 7 p.m.

Men’s soccer has quickly grown into one of Pitt’s strongest programs. The Panthers are coming off of a stellar 2022 campaign that resulted in a 12-5-5 record and a trip to the semi-finals of the NCAA tournament

Syracuse, however, will present Pitt with a tough challenge on the road in September. The Orange went 19-2-4 last year and won the ACC tournament, as well as the national title, for the first time in program history. 

The two rivals haven’t faced one another since 2021, and Syracuse hasn’t hosted Pitt since the 2020 season. The Panthers’ last loss against the Orange came in the 2016 ACC tournament, adding intrigue to a match that has massive ramifications. 

Women’s soccer vs. Notre Dame: Sep. 24 at 1 p.m.

Pitt women’s soccer is on the rise. The Panthers ended the 2022 season with a 14-5-3 record and were rewarded with the program’s first-ever ACC and NCAA tournament appearances. While they didn’t come home with any hardware, Pitt still earned a Sweet Sixteen bid and laid the foundation for future success. 

One of Pitt’s toughest matches on its 2023 schedule is Notre Dame, who knocked the Panthers out of the first round of last year’s conference tournament in a penalty kick shootout. The Fighting Irish were a No. 1 seed in the national tournament, but lost to North Carolina in the Elite Eight, dashing any hopes of winning their fourth title in program history. 

The Panthers can make an early statement with a win against one of the nation’s most prestigious programs and truly announce their arrival on the scene. It isn’t an easy task, but having the home crowd behind them certainly helps and makes a victory all the more attainable. 

Football vs. Florida State: Nov. 4, time TBD

Under the new ACC format, no opponent on Pitt football’s schedule stands out quite like Florida State. 

Starting this season, there are no more divisions in ACC football. The league adopted a new format that pits the two teams with the best records against one another in the conference championship game, abolishing the Atlantic and Coastal divisions in the process. 

An ACC championship game berth is no longer as simple for Pitt as beating out the other six teams in the Coastal, while juggernauts such as Clemson and Florida State slug it out in the Atlantic. Instead, the Panthers will go toe-to-toe with those resident blue bloods as they search for another title. 

Pitt is coming off of two top-25 finishes in a row and has its eye set on contending for the ACC title once again. So does Florida State, who went 10-3 last season while finishing ranked No. 11 in the country and returning a boatload of talent in 2023. 

This game, which comes toward the end of the regular season, may very well carry huge implications for both sides as it pertains to the race for a spot in the conference championship game. As a result, this shapes up as one of the best matchups on Pitt’s schedule.