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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

No. 8 Pitt volleyball defends home court, sweeps Syracuse

Pitt%E2%80%99s+Volleyball+team+celebrates+a+point+against+Syracuse+in+the+Fitzgerald+Field+House+on+Sunday.
Ethan Shulman | Visual Editor
Pitt’s Volleyball team celebrates a point against Syracuse in the Fitzgerald Field House on Sunday.

No. 8 ranked Pitt women’s volleyball (13-2, 4-0 ACC) cruised past ACC rival Syracuse (2-12, 0-4 ACC) Sunday afternoon, sweeping three sets to none for their seventh straight sweep. 

The Panthers entered Sunday’s match as overwhelming favorites against the Orange, who are winless in ACC play this season. However, Syracuse kept things close with the Panthers early in the match.

The Panthers quickly got ahead to a 2-0 start at Fitzgerald Field House due to two attack errors from Syracuse. The Orange answered with a kill from junior outside hitter Cherlin Antonio and a Panther attack error to tie the first set at 2-2. Panther graduate student middle blocker Emma Monks responded with a kill of her own to give Pitt the 3-2 set lead. 

Pitt started to pull away, scoring four of the next five points, highlighted by an ace from Panther first-year right-side hitter Olivia Babcock. Syracuse stormed back, making the set 7-6 following two aces from Antonio. Pitt responded by quickly extending their lead with an impressive ace from Panthers junior Emmy Klika and held onto that lead, winning the set 25-15.

The second set mirrored the first set, as the Panthers and Orange battled back and forth early. Following three straight points for the Panthers due to an attack error and block assists, Syracuse answered with four straight points of their own.

Tied up 8-8, junior outside-hitter Juliana Dalton recorded a kill, turning momentum back to the side of the Panthers. Ahead 14-11, Panthers head coach Dan Fisher subbed in graduate student defensive specialist Logan Mosely. Mosely proceeded to cause three straight errors from the Orange, pulling the Panthers ahead 17-12.

After a short stretch of Syracuse points, which brought the score to 19-16, the Panthers closed out the second set strongly with two kills from Bayless and Nwokolo, winning 25-18.

The third set of Sunday’s match showcased the No. 8 ranked Panthers’ domination from both sides of the court. 

The Panthers scored five straight points out of the gate, including an ace from Senior outside hitter Cat Flood. After an Orange kill from Antonio, Pitt went on a four-point run with kills produced by Stafford and sophomore middle blocker Rachel Jepson. Up 10-2, first-year setter Haiti Tautua’a entered the game and recorded an ace for the Panthers.

Pitt recorded five straight points with kills from Jepsen and Flood, placing the Panthers in a commanding 16-3 set lead. After a Panther attack error, Pitt went on yet another five-point run highlighted by kills from Flood, Jepsen, and first-year outside hitter Blaire Bayless. 

The Panthers completely dominated the final set, recording an outstanding 16 kills and only allowing six total points, winning the set 25-6. Pitt ended their 21st straight-set win with 39 total kills, 35 total assists, and a .542 hit percentage.

Pitt dominated defensively, recording 14 total blocks in the match compared to the Orange’s single block. Graduate student middle blocker Emma Monks recorded seven total blocks for the Panthers. Pitt graduate student middle blocker Chiamaka Nwokolo also provided a great defensive presence, tallying six total blocks.

The Panthers again saw great production from their first-year hitters. Stafford recorded nine total kills for Pitt, Bayless recorded a career-high eight kills, and Babcock added six kills. Stafford highlighted her all-around talent, recording 15 total attacks along with a game-leading 10 digs.

At the halfway point of the season, the Panthers are displaying their championship aspirations through their ability to dominate offensively and defensively. With two separate matches with No. 5 Louisville fast approaching, the Panthers’ ability to beat top-tier opponents is imperative for Pitt’s title hopes.

The Panthers will host two home games next weekend at the Fitzgerald Field House next Friday at 7 P.M. against No. 11 Georgia Tech and at 1 P.M. Sunday against Clemson.

About the Contributor
Dylan Grace, Staff Writer