The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

TPN beat writers give their favorite memories from 2023-24

Senior+defender+Abby+Thorne+%285%29+high-fives+teammates+during+the+women%E2%80%99s+lacrosse+game+against+Clemson+on+Thursday+evening+at+Highmark+Stadium.
Nate Yonamine | Assistant Visual Editor
Senior defender Abby Thorne (5) high-fives teammates during the women’s lacrosse game against Clemson on Thursday evening at Highmark Stadium.

As the school year concludes, The Pitt News sports desk beat writers give their favorite memories from their respective sports in 2023-24.

Football // Brian Sherry, Sports Editor 

My favorite memory of the 2023 Pitt football season? In all honesty, I prefer not to think about that dumpster fire of a season. I wasted countless Saturday afternoons, tailgates and time with my friends to cover a team that went 3-9. There’s no happy ending there. 

But, if I had to choose one memory that I enjoyed the most, it was the 2023 Backyard Brawl in Morgantown. Yes, yes, I know that’s a game that most Pitt fans would rather forget about, but it still holds a special place in my heart. 

We assembled a team of four photographers and writers to make the short trek down to enemy territory. To my surprise, the West Virginia fans were actually friendly, as Jermaine and I interviewed a group of them for a fan feature before the game. The press box at Milan Puskar Stadium is also one of the nicest I’ve gone to. They served us my favorite food, chicken parmigiana, before the game, which sweetened the deal for me. 

Pitt played one of the worst games I’ve ever seen in my life that day, but that ultimately became a sight I got adjusted to seeing over the course of the year. Now that my sports journalism career is coming to an end, I’ll always remember the one and only time I covered the Backyard Brawl. 

Men’s basketball // Jermaine Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor

Getting to cover two back-to-back 20-win seasons is pretty cool. In terms of a favorite memory, there are countless to choose from. But one sticks out more than others.

Back in February, I got to travel down to Charlottesville, Virginia, to cover the Panthers taking on the Cavaliers. At that time, Pitt was turning around its season, and Virginia was No. 21 in the country and on a 23-game home winning streak. 

Well, the rest is history. The Panthers defeated Virginia, and I got to explore one of the historic campuses on the east coast with some veterans in the business. 

Volleyball // Matthew Scabilloni, Senior Staff Writer

There are so many options with Pitt volleyball. They only lost one game I attended all year, which happened in Tampa, Florida, so that was still fun for me. 

But of all the games I attended, my favorite was the Panthers’ Elite Eight game against Louisville. Pitt looked like their season was over after the Panthers went down 2-0 to the Cardinals.

But when first-year outside hitter Torrey Stafford and a few of her teammates went to the bathroom and screamed after the second set, it was a different story. 

First-year opposite Olivia Babcock had one of the greatest serving performances I had ever seen, and there was no doubt the Panthers would punch their ticket to the Final Four in the final three sets. 

It was a joy to cover Pitt volleyball during the 2023 season, and I can’t wait to watch them fight for a national championship with yet another stacked roster in 2024. 

Lacrosse // Lily Peters, Staff Writer 

Covering Pitt’s newest NCAA sport is exciting, especially since the ACC is such a competitive conference for lacrosse. Overall, witnessing the team’s growth as a program was truly enjoyable.

But one moment stands out above the rest — the home opener for Pitt lacrosse. The Panthers dominated Duquesne in a 20-2 win. The game was played during one of Pittsburgh’s rare warm days in February. This was the first time I wrote an article outside a press box because of the beautiful weather. 

The atmosphere was super fun with Highmark Stadium being packed with both Pitt and Duquesne fans. The players and coaching staff were super hyped throughout the entire game, setting a great tone for the beginning of the season. 

I am eagerly looking forward to watching the growth of this team throughout my college career! 

Women’s soccer and women’s basketball // Sara Meyer, Senior Staff Writer

Pitt women’s soccer secured several firsts in their 2023 campaign. After watching the team make history repeatedly, my favorite moment was the October game against Duke. 

Before the matchup, Duke held a 7-0 record over Pitt. For the first time in program history, Pitt bested Duke. After a scoreless first half, the Panthers came out of the locker room and fired off shot after shot. Within the first five minutes, Pitt was up 2-0. Pitt maintained possession of the ball and beat Duke 2-1.

Despite women’s basketball’s abysmal season, one game showcased their potential as a competitor in their conference. The team’s second game against Syracuse this season generated the best basketball they had all season long. 

This matchup had an even spread of point contributors. Pitt shot 35.1% from the floor compared to the Orange’s 32.8%. Even though Pitt ultimately lost 53-63, the first three quarters proved that the team can compete at a higher caliber. 

Men’s soccer // Alex Porter, Staff Writer 

Pitt men’s soccer remains one of the premier programs at Pitt. Although the Panthers did not reach the impressive highs of past seasons or meet lofty preseason expectations, the 2023 squad remained an exciting team to cover.

Pitt men’s soccer showed perseverance through a plague of injuries, competed closely in each contest and displayed lots of promise as a younger team. Senior midfielder Filip Mirkovic shined as the bonafide star of the squad — earning himself a second-round selection in the MLS draft by Orlando City SC.

Mirkovic’s electrifying playmaking culminated with him setting the all-time career record for assists in a 3-1 victory over Virginia Tech. Watching the fans, Mirkovic and the team celebrate became my highlight of the season. 

On top of everything, interviewing Mikrovic and head coach Jay Vidovich afterward was personally rewarding. I loved seeing the confidence of the squad after an important ACC win, along with their genuine support of each other.

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