Weekend Sports: Basketball scrimmage highlights slate of weekend sports action

By Mark Powell / Staff Writer

Pitt’s volleyball, swimming and diving teams will all face tough road tests this weekend, while the men’s basketball team is set to play its first exhibition game of the season.

Men’s Basketball

The Panthers hope to make a statement Friday night as they play their first exhibition matchup of the season against the University of California-San Diego at the Petersen Events Center.

The game will mark the start of an exciting and unpredictable season for the Panthers, whose roster features several different players from last year’s team. This year also marks Pitt’s first season in the ACC, which is widely considered the best basketball conference in the country.

Pitt’s starting lineup is in flux, as the Panthers must find replacements for guard Tray Woodall, who graduated after last season, and Steven Adams, who was taken 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA draft. The Panthers are likely to replace their production with a number of incoming freshmen and transfers who look to make an immediate impact.

Pitt is coming off two blue-gold scrimmages, meaning this is the first time they will face an opposing team in this early start to the season. Lamar Patterson and Cam Wright — who each had more than 20 points in both exhibition games — created the most buzz following the scrimmages.

Swimming and Diving

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams travel to Bucknell this weekend for the second meet of the season. The Panthers are coming off a season-opening win against St. Bonaventure last Saturday in which both the men’s and women’s teams were able to secure victories.

The women’s team was especially dominant in the victory, taking 14 of 16 first-place finishes, while the men fought back against the defending Atlantic 10 champions with two first-place finishes by Luke Nosbisch and Scott Simmer.

In diving, Pitt had multiple first-place finishers on both teams. Harris Bergman and Aaron Snyder took first place for the men, while Tori Brungo and Rachel Saunders won for the women.

Pitt should expect tough competition Saturday in Lewisburg, Pa., because Bucknell also won its first meet of the season against George Washington University.


The Pitt volleyball team looks to rebound in North Carolina after losing three of its last four matches against ACC opponents.

The Panthers face North Carolina State Friday, then travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday to play No. 14 North Carolina. The Tar Heels will be the third ranked team that the Panthers have played this season. Pitt lost to the previous two.

Despite the team’s recent struggles, Coach Dan Fisher still believes the Panthers are right where they need to be.

“Whether we win or lose, we try to keep our focus [by] getting better every day and competing,” Fisher said. “We are 4-4 in a very tough league.”

Still, the Panthers will need a valiant effort to come out of this weekend road trip with a win.

Pitt does not have much history with either of these teams. The Panthers haven’t played the Wolfpack since 1983 and last matched up against the Tar Heels in 2004.

“Most of these gyms are new to us and we want to make sure our players are comfortable with the new surroundings,” Fisher said. “We are looking forward to a competitive match.”