The Pitt News

Sail to Pitt: PSC thrives on and off campus

Sail to Pitt: PSC thrives on and off campus

By Trent Leonard, Sports Editor

November 15, 2018


Filed under Club Sports, Sports, Sports Features

Despite the University’s lack of space for boat-based activities, the Pitt Sailing Club is indeed alive and thriving, with a membership of 62 students.

Record-setting Valerie Daigneault leads Pitt’s pool-dwellers

Record-setting Valerie Daigneault leads Pitt’s pool-dwellers

By Tessa Sayers, Assistant Sports Editor

November 14, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Swimming and Diving, Top Stories

In two and a half seasons at Pitt, Valerie Daigneault has broken six swim team records — four relay events and two solo events. She started this season undefeated through nine races.

Jewish athletes at Pitt reflect on Tree of Life shooting

Jewish athletes at Pitt reflect on Tree of Life shooting

By Tessa Sayers, Assistant Sports Editor

November 14, 2018


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

The morning of Oct. 27 seemed like just another Saturday for Pitt’s swimming and diving coach and his two Jewish swimmers. But an evil act quickly turned it into anything but.

International athletes get first taste of American flavors

International athletes get first taste of American flavors

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

October 24, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

For these international athletes, one of the biggest changes that came out of moving to the United States was the food. To many, french fries dipped in a Wendy’s frosty is a normal treat. For soccer player Marcony Pimentel, this seemed out of the ordinary — but he loved it.

Attila Domos: Handcyclist, author and paraplegic rockstar

Attila Domos: Handcyclist, author and paraplegic rockstar

By Griffin Floyd, Staff Writer

October 23, 2018


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

Romanian-born Pittsburgh native Attila Domos nearly broke the official world handcycling record recently — but his talents also extend to artistry, authorship and Wii Sports.

Pitt figure skating spins into 2018 competition season

Pitt figure skating spins into 2018 competition season

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

October 17, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

The Pitt figure skating team is gearing up for its first competition at New York University in November — but just two years ago, there was no team at all.

The life and times of ROC the mascot

The life and times of ROC the mascot

By Ben Zimmer, Staff Writer

October 3, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

ROC, a human-sized bipedal Panther, has been at the center of Pitt athletics for more than a century now, bouncing around the field, waving his arms and entertaining fans with his goofy antics and unassailable school spirit.

Touching me, touching you: The story behind ‘Sweet Caroline’ at Pitt

Touching me, touching you: The story behind ‘Sweet Caroline’ at Pitt

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

October 3, 2018


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

Just like any great idea Pitt students have, the school’s most beloved tradition of singing “Sweet Caroline” was born at Hemingway’s Cafe, in 2008.

Panther Spotlight: Qadree Ollison, Stephanie Williams, Johan Penaranda

Panther Spotlight: Qadree Ollison, Stephanie Williams, Johan Penaranda

By Griffin Floyd, For the Pitt News

September 24, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

Though it was a tough weekend for Pitt athletics, there were still a few athletes that played at a high-level and stood out. Qadree Ollison, Stephanie Williams and Johan Penaranda all made notable plays in their notable sports this past weekend -- showcasing their athletic ability.

Athletic trainers find balance between sports and medicine

Athletic trainers find balance between sports and medicine

By Ben Zimmer, Staff Writer

September 17, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

For athletic trainers like Jennifer Csonka, the career path was the perfect balance between sports and medicine. Whether on the field or off the field, Pitt's athletic trainers are at every game, ready to take on any injuries whenever they occur.

Nika Markovic: Slovenian student serves success

Nika Markovic: Slovenian student serves success

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

September 13, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

When Nika Markovic decommitted from the University of San Francisco, she had no idea she would end up at Pitt. Born in Braslovce, Slovenia, Markovic began playing volleyball at the age of 7. No-one - not even her - thought volleyball would be her sport.

Behind the scenes of Pitt SID’s

Behind the scenes of Pitt SID’s

By Stephen Thompson, For the Pitt News

September 12, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Student information directors, or SIDs, at Pitt act as team-specific media liaisons, statistics managers, beat writers and team promoters.

House divided: The Yahner Family

House divided: The Yahner Family

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

September 5, 2018


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

The Pitt versus Penn State football matchup provides great action, but its implications go beyond the playing field. With the universities being two of the top three largest in the state, the rivalry often crosses family lines as members differ in school choice. The Yahners exemplify this house divided.

Dance group exhibits Controlled Chaos

Dance group exhibits Controlled Chaos

By Alexa Marzina, Staff Writer

August 30, 2018


Filed under Club Sports, Sports, Sports Features

Controlled Chaos is an on-campus dance group that explores several styles of hip-hop. The group is open to all students on campus, and holds several performances throughout the year.

A night at The Priory

A night at The Priory

By Grant Burgman | News Editor

May 30, 2018


Filed under City, News, Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

The ballroom of the Priory Grand Hall, a small hotel in the historic Pittsburgh neighborhood of Deutschtown, is actually a converted church — but last Friday it became a boxing ring. A red-matted ring bordered by red and blue ropes sat in the center of the ballroom, hit directly by the fading ev...

Randy Waldrum brings change, experience to Pitt women’s soccer

Randy Waldrum brings change, experience to Pitt women’s soccer

By Dominic Campbell | Staff Writer

April 3, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

For a team that won just three games last year, hiring one of the most successful women’s soccer coaches in the country might seem unlikely. But that’s just what athletic director Heather Lyke announced in December with the hiring of Randy Waldrum to lead the struggling program. Waldrum has been coaching soccer for the last 30 years. He comes to Pitt as one of the winningest head coaches ...

Pickett proves worth as rising Panthers star

Pickett proves worth as rising Panthers star

By Trent Leonard | Staff Writer

March 20, 2018


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

First-year Kenny Pickett wasn’t supposed to take a snap last year, much less lead the team to the biggest win of the season. As the third-string quarterback for the Pitt football team entering the 2017 season, he was firmly entrenched behind redshirt senior Max Browne and sophomore Ben DiNucci. The expec...

A year of firsts: Young team works to make change

A year of firsts: Young team works to make change

By Trent Leonard | Staff Writer

March 11, 2018


Filed under 2. Featured, Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features

Pitt first-year guard Marcus Carr is no stranger to rookie success. As a first-year at St. Michaels in his native Toronto, Carr once scored a season-high 49 points in one game — and was instrumental in leading his team to the quarterfinals of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association...

Women’s club hockey skates to success

Women’s club hockey skates to success

By Jordan Mondell | Assistant Sports Editor

March 2, 2018


Filed under Club Sports, Sports, Sports Features

It’s 5 a.m., and while most Pitt students are still hitting snooze and sleeping off late-night study binges or a night out, one group on campus is already wide awake and on their way out of the city to start their day. The sun rises over the passing scenery and empty roads as sticks and pads clatter i...

Pitt to Pros: Donald dominates NFL

Pitt to Pros: Donald dominates NFL

By Jon Shaiken | Staff Writer

February 15, 2018


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

Before Aaron Donald was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, he spent his Saturdays terrorizing college quarterbacks at Heinz Field. In the NFL, Donald has a reputation of being a hard worker and relentless competitor playing for the Los Angeles Rams. According to Chris Lasala, Pitt’s associat...

Interactive graphic: Sexual assault and college sports

Interactive graphic: Sexual assault and college sports

By Jordan Mondell | Assistant Sports Editor

February 14, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Visual

   

First-year gymnast Haley Brechwald brings talent, poise to Pitt

First-year gymnast Haley Brechwald brings talent, poise to Pitt

By David Leftiwch | Senior Staff Writer

February 5, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

Gymnastics has always provided first-year gymnast Haley Brechwald a creative space to learn and have fun. “Gymnastics is a crazy sport because there is just always something new to learn,” Brechwald said. “You never really get bored or tired of it.” She fell in love with the sport when ...

Analysis: Social implications of personal identification to sports

Analysis: Social implications of personal identification to sports

By David Leftwich | Senior Staff Writer

January 24, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

The City of Pittsburgh took a collective gut punch last weekend as the Steelers suffered a 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars to end the season. Beyond the more than 60,000 people who flocked to Heinz Field to sit in 20-degree weather and watch the loss live, around 20 million people at home invested abo...

Q&A: Pitt diver Meme Sharp makes history

Q&A: Pitt diver Meme Sharp makes history

By Dominic Campbell | Staff Writer

January 16, 2018


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

Finishing up her final season on the Pitt diving team, senior diver Meme Sharp will leave a legacy as one the greatest divers in the program’s history. Sharp has acquired a number of accolades and set several records during her diving career at Pitt. She currently holds the record in the 3- an...

No timeouts: Balling over break

No timeouts: Balling over break

By Grant Burgman and Dominic Campbell | Staff Writers

December 10, 2017


Filed under Men's Basketball, Sports Features, Top Stories, Women's Basketball

Being a Division I athlete comes with undeniable perks — official gear, tuition aid and the chance to be on television. But athletes miss out on a lot — including enjoying a full winter break of relaxation and family. “That’s one of the sacrifices you have to make if you want to play Division...

Athletes, educators discuss activism in sports

Athletes, educators discuss activism in sports

By Brian Salvato | For The Pitt News

December 6, 2017


Filed under Campus, News, Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

When former third-string Pitt kicker Ian Troost took a knee during the national anthem at the team’s Oct. 14 loss to NC State, his motivation was rooted in his background. “My reason, other than to highlight police brutality and social injustice in the United States, was because I came from a b...

Katie Hazelton brings fighting spirit to Pitt diving

Katie Hazelton brings fighting spirit to Pitt diving

By Trent Leonard | Staff Writer

November 9, 2017


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

When an athlete suffers a severe, life-altering injury, it usually means the end of a career — time to hang up the jersey, pack up the gym bag and abruptly find a new way to pass the hours. Unless that athlete is Katie Hazelton. Hazelton, the new head coach of Pitt diving — brought on by Athletic Director Hea...

Pittsburgh Pipers: The forgotten champions

Pittsburgh Pipers: The forgotten champions

By Grant Burgman | Staff Writer

November 8, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

Pittsburgh is often considered one of the premier sports cities in America — laden with a prosperous history of baseball, football and hockey championships. But the city was once home to a championship basketball team, too — a small blip in the timeline of Steel City sports. The Pittsburgh Pipe...

Vidovich’s second season brings success to men’s soccer

Vidovich’s second season brings success to men’s soccer

By Grant Burgman | Staff Writer

October 26, 2017


Filed under Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

The Pitt men’s soccer team only managed to score 12 goals in the entire season last year. This year, the team had 12 goals before October. Stats like these show how far the team has come in its second year with head coach Jay Vidovich, who has lead Pitt to an 8-8 record so far this season, with ...

Q&A with sole sisters: From course to track, Vlasics have each other’s back

Q&A with sole sisters: From course to track, Vlasics have each other’s back

By Dominic Campbell | Staff Writer

October 18, 2017


Filed under Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

Even though senior Melanie Vlasic is finishing up her final seasons with the women’s cross country and track and field teams, she has one particular teammate to look out for — her younger sister, Mikaela Vlasic. The Vlasic sisters hail from Hatfield, where they attended North Penn High School...

Gallery: Courtside at the Cathedral

Gallery: Courtside at the Cathedral

By Christian Snyder and Sarah Cutshall | TPN Staff

October 15, 2017


Filed under Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features, Video, Visual, Women's Basketball

Pitt's men's and women's basketball teams opened their 2017-2018 season with Courtside at the Cathedral on Bigelow Blvd. Oct. 13. ...

Take me back to the ballgame: Fans reflect on Forbes Field

Take me back to the ballgame: Fans reflect on Forbes Field

By David Leftwich | Senior Staff Writer

October 12, 2017


Filed under Sports Features, Top Stories

Where students now slouch in their seats, fans once sat on edge, moments away from witnessing a historic sports event on Oct. 13, 1960 — now dubbed Mazeroski Day. In game seven of the 1960 World Series, Pirate Bill Mazeroski came to the plate at the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at nine. On a 1-0 pitc...

Students sport game day garb

Students sport game day garb

By Sarah Connor, For The Pitt News

October 2, 2017


Filed under Sports Features

As music blasted through speakers in the trunk of a crossover SUV, scores of students tossed footballs and played cornhole in parking lots outside of Heinz Field Saturday before the football team’s game against Rice University. Students wearing blue-and-gold hoodies and knit Pitt beanies danced to the music and took part in th...

Powders, pills and proteins: students and athletes explore diet supplements

Powders, pills and proteins: students and athletes explore diet supplements

By Jordan Mondell | Assistant Sports Editor

September 28, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

Every morning when Rui Tanimura wakes up, she makes sure she has enough fuel to survive her morning lectures — a bowl of oatmeal, a handful of fruit and a spoonful of peanut butter. In addition to making herself a filling breakfast, she also prepares the rest of her meals for the day — rice, vegetabl...

Q&A: Penny Semaia helps student-athletes attain success

Q&A: Penny Semaia helps student-athletes attain success

By Grant Burgman | Staff Writer

September 14, 2017


Filed under Sports Features, Top Stories

Standing at 6 feet 5 inches, Penny Semaia can seem like a pretty intimidating figure. But once Semaia starts talking, any intimidation falls away. He makes you feel welcome from the moment you shake his hand and exudes friendliness. It’s an infectious positivity many in the Pitt community have beco...

Perez on the pitch: Adjusting to studies, soccer

Perez on the pitch: Adjusting to studies, soccer

By Jordan Mondell / Contributing Editor

August 29, 2017


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

For Pitt midfielder Javi Perez, the atmosphere at the Petersen Sports Complex is a lot different than what he is used to. The green of the turf beneath his feet is the same, as are the meshy nets of the goals, but in Spain, soccer — correction, futbol — is a bit different. At a top collegiate lev...

Kirk Christodoulou: The punter from Down Under

Kirk Christodoulou: The punter from Down Under

By Steve Rotstein / Senior Staff Writer

August 21, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

Kirk Christodoulou didn’t grow up around the same game as everybody else on the Pitt football team — to him, it’s called “footy.” He doesn’t say he’s going to go practice some punting — he’s going to “have a kick.” He wears cleats just like his teammates — but to him, they’re his ...

Return to greatness: basketball alums compete in annual tournament

Return to greatness: basketball alums compete in annual tournament

By Steve Rotstein | Senior Staff Writer

July 4, 2017


Filed under Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

More than seven years after Pitt’s memorable run to the Elite Eight came up just short against Villanova, then-Panthers point guard Levance Fields got another chance to reach a different Final Four — this time with $2 million on the line. But just like that loss in the 2009 Regional Final, Fields and h...

Panthers prepare for NCAA Championships

Panthers prepare for NCAA Championships

By Ryan Zimba | Sports Editor

June 6, 2017


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

Pitt junior thrower Andin Fosam nervously watched the conclusion of the hammer throw last week at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Lexington, Kentucky, as she clung to one of the last NCAA Championship spots. Her performance earlier in the day wasn’t her best, as she fouled on two of three th...

Lyke a pro: Pitt’s newest AD brings experience and enthusiasm

Lyke a pro: Pitt’s newest AD brings experience and enthusiasm

By Mackenzie Rodrigues | Assistant Sports Editor

May 30, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports Features

Athletics are in Heather Lyke’s DNA. She never turned down the chance to play any sport while she was growing up. But it took two degrees — one in education, the other in law — for her to decide it was the athletic world she should remain in. Lyke is Pitt’s newest athletic director — the...

Rising sophomores reflect: Adjusting as a student-athlete

Rising sophomores reflect: Adjusting as a student-athlete

By Kevin Bertha | Staff Writer

May 30, 2017


Filed under Sports Features

Jovana Knezevic’s day starts with an early morning weight session, followed by a full schedule of classes. But instead of returning to her dorm after class to study or relax, Knezevic heads over to the tennis courts for a three hour practice. Learning where to go for the best pizza on campus, keeping...

Gray’s got it in the glove

Gray’s got it in the glove

By Rebecca Sauers | Staff Writer

May 30, 2017


Filed under Sports Features

When 5-year-old Olivia Gray was offered a spot on a youth softball team, she didn’t want to play because she was afraid of failing. But her father, Shawn, encouraged her to give the sport another chance because of his daughter’s competitive attitude. He wanted to see her play a sport where there...

The next chapter: Conner’s story continues in Pittsburgh

The next chapter: Conner’s story continues in Pittsburgh

By Ryan Zimba | Sports Editor

May 9, 2017


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Sitting with friends and family in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania, James Conner watched as the NFL Draft progressed through the first three rounds. Conner — a projected fifth or sixth round pick — probably wasn’t surprised he was still on the board. But as the night came to a close, the Pitt ...

From the diamond to the dugout: Pazos keeps command

From the diamond to the dugout: Pazos keeps command

By Stephen Caruso | Contributing Editor

April 20, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

The Pitt baseball team seemed primed for a rare sweep on a summery Saturday in late March against Virginia Tech. The Panthers were up 4-0 in the top of the fifth in the second game of the series. Redshirt junior pitcher Matt Pidich was on the mound and had yet to allow a baserunner. The third and fi...

Josh Gibson: Unsung, until now

Josh Gibson: Unsung, until now

By Bayard Miller | Assistant Sports Editor

April 19, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

After decades of relative obscurity, a Pittsburgh legend will finally have his story told — albeit in an unlikely place. The Pittsburgh Opera will perform the world premiere of “The Summer King,” which chronicles the life of Negro League baseball star Josh Gibson, from April 29 to May 7 — ticke...

From Pitt to the pros: Spratling sprints to stardom

From Pitt to the pros: Spratling sprints to stardom

By Ryan Zimba | Staff Writer

April 10, 2017


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Brycen Spratling sports Nike shoes, sweatpants and a short-sleeve black-and-blue shirt while warming up for his workout. He slowly trots around the track, bouncing to the beat of the music in his earbuds. An unknowing observer might assume he’s just there for a routine jog. But once he takes off, ...

Over Knight Sensation: Brittany Knight carving out starring role for Panthers

Over Knight Sensation: Brittany Knight carving out starring role for Panthers

By Rebecca Sauers | Staff Writer

April 6, 2017


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

You can’t pitch any better than Pitt true freshman Brittany Knight did Feb. 10, in her first game of college competition. Still, she was startled when a trainer approached her during a practice the next week. “Oh, congrats on ACC Pitcher of the Week,” the trainer said. “I was like, ‘...

Rozelle Nix: Big man on campus

Rozelle Nix: Big man on campus

By Kevin Bertha | Staff Writer

February 28, 2017


Filed under Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features

After years of rigorous work on various courts, Rozelle Nix finally saw his dedication pay off this season. Pitt trailed by five with seven minutes left in the game against the winningest coach of all-time, Mike Krzyzewski, and the No. 21 Duke Blue Devils. Sophomore guard Cameron Johnson missed a ...

A Family Affair: McConnells maintain tradition

A Family Affair: McConnells maintain tradition

By Mackenzie Rodrigues | Staff Writer

February 24, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features, Women's Basketball

With her mom and aunt watching from the sidelines in the third quarter of a late November blowout against Slippery Rock University, Pitt sophomore guard Madison Serio drained the first 3-pointer of her college career. Late in the fourth quarter, she buried her second long-range attempt. When she naile...

Winning Ways: Whitney brings championship pedigree to Panthers

Winning Ways: Whitney brings championship pedigree to Panthers

By Mackenzie Rodrigues | For The Pitt News

October 31, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features, Women's Basketball

At Pitt’s first open practice of the year, first-year point guard Jasmine Whitney controls the Petersen Events Center court with a quiet calmness. She doesn’t frantically shout out a play — rather, she stands at the top of the key and directs her teammates to open spots on the court. She hold...

Friends James Conner and Ryan Switzer ready to compete again Saturday

Friends James Conner and Ryan Switzer ready to compete again Saturday

By Stephen Caruso | Senior Staff Writer

September 21, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Ryan Switzer’s North Carolina Tar Heels had just wrapped up a perfect 8-0 season in conference play and were 24 hours away from taking on the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship game on Dec. 5, 2015. But Switzer was in no mood to celebrate. Earlier that day, he opened his Twitter feed to ...

Stephanie Williams: Coming back for the kill

Stephanie Williams: Coming back for the kill

By David Leftwich | Staff Writer

September 20, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

Stephanie Williams had been here before, almost one year to the day.   It was the Michigan game. The Pitt volleyball team faced a 12-9 deficit in the fifth and final set. Last year, the Panthers lost, and Williams left the court with a broken foot. She would have to sit out a majority of her fi...

Steely Dan: Fisher’s winning ways lead him to Pitt

Steely Dan: Fisher’s winning ways lead him to Pitt

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

August 22, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Welcome Back 2016

In his office, Pitt head volleyball coach Dan Fisher proudly displays his bronze medal from the 2016 Pan American Cup for anyone who wishes to see it. The really special hardware, though, is tucked away inside a case right beside it: his gold medal from the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Ear...

Local recruit Alayna Gribble feels right at home at the Pete

Local recruit Alayna Gribble feels right at home at the Pete

By Katie Cassidy / Staff Writer

August 21, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Welcome Back 2016, Women's Basketball

On Feb. 27, 2016, the undefeated Norwin High School Knights –– led by star junior Alayna Gribble –– trailed the North Allegheny Senior High School Tigers, 49-36, entering the fourth quarter of the WPIAL AAAA championship game at the Petersen Events Center. At 24-0, the reigning WPIAL champion Knights...

Next In Line: Meet Chawntez Moss

Next In Line: Meet Chawntez Moss

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

May 31, 2016


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Just before the start of the Blue-Gold game on April 16, 2016, incoming first-year running back Chawntez Moss had to take a moment to reflect. Moss was in a corner of the locker room with sophomore running back Qadree Ollison when he was handed his gold No. 26 game jersey. “Come on, man, put it on,...

Stallings & Son: Two paths to Pittsburgh

Stallings & Son: Two paths to Pittsburgh

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

May 31, 2016


Filed under Specials / Newstudentguide2016, Sports, Sports Features

The Stallings family was sitting around one day in 2012, casually discussing plans for their eldest son Jacob’s upcoming wedding. Who would they invite? Who were the groomsmen? Then came the big one, a position that Jacob’s parents Kevin and Lisa had previously thought to be unassigned. “An...

Diving Champion Dominic Giordano: No expectations, no stress

Diving Champion Dominic Giordano: No expectations, no stress

By Kaitlin Cassidy / Staff Writer

May 31, 2016


Filed under Specials / Newstudentguide2016, Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

For his first leap, Dominic Giordano splits his legs to reach the edge of the diving board, landing to form a triangle with his left leg first and his right poised with a pointed toe. Full of momentum from the first leap, he straightens his right leg in the air with his second jump, both toes pointed, prepar...

Bye bye, Boyd: Pitt receiver completes journey from Clairton to the NFL

Bye bye, Boyd: Pitt receiver completes journey from Clairton to the NFL

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Assistant Sports Editor

May 10, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports, Sports Features

There were 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter on September 19, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa, and the whole stadium knew where the ball was going. Pitt had the ball on second-and-goal from the eight-yard line, trailing the Iowa Hawkeyes by seven points. Quarterback Nathan Peterman was looking for an open rec...

Pitt aims to expand donor base

Pitt aims to expand donor base

By Phoebe Gilmore / Staff Writer

April 25, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Spring Finals Edition 2016, Top Stories

Pat Narduzzi’s revitalized football program, a consistently packed Oakland Zoo and alumni all over the world means that Pitt Athletics has no shortage of fans. But, unlike other Atlantic Coast Conference schools, that fan base doesn’t translate into cold cash. With the second-largest alumni base in...

Zeuch carries on family tradition

Zeuch carries on family tradition

By Steve Rotstein / Staff Writer

April 22, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

It was the bottom of the eighth inning March 7, 2015, in Cary, North Carolina, and an upset was in the making. The Pitt Panthers were facing the No. 1 team in the country — the eventual College World Series champion Virginia Cavaliers. The stands were packed with MLB scouts hoping to catch a glim...

O, Canada: Matt Canada’s coaching journey

O, Canada: Matt Canada’s coaching journey

By Jeremy Tepper / Senior Staff Writer

April 19, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports, Sports Features

It was 5:30 in the morning in 1996. Instead of sleeping, a then 23-year-old Matt Canada was hanging a banner for the Indianapolis 500 on a bridge on 16th Street in the city. He was serving as Butler University’s quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at the time, sometimes doing odd-jobs to supple...

Joystick jocks: Competitive gaming enters new era

Joystick jocks: Competitive gaming enters new era

By Ryan Reichardt / Staff Writer

April 5, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

The clicking is incessant. Only the clinking of sword fights and cheers from winning players interrupt the sound, and with each tap on the mouse, the tiny, goblin-like figure on the computer screen dodges colorful explosions from circling opponents. Thousands of mouse clicks — rapid and uninterrupt...

Panthers fans want more at Heinz

Panthers fans want more at Heinz

By Jeremy Tepper / Senior Staff Writer

March 2, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Football, Sports, Sports Features

As a Panthers football game begins, Pitt’s marching band ushers the team onto the field through a tunnel backdropped by a Pitt script banner. Some of the players meet atop the Pitt logo at the 50-yard line, surrounded by waving Pitt banners inside and outside the stadium. Attendees pass through a fr...

Finger making strides after icing cancer

Finger making strides after icing cancer

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / For The Pitt News

February 22, 2016


Filed under Club Sports, Sports, Sports Features

It was a late January night when pain pushed Jonathan Finger to trudge halfway up cardiac hill and walk through the UPMC Presbyterian Emergency Room entrance. The piercing pain in his abdomen had caught the 19-year-old hockey player by surprise and had become excruciating. Doctors listened to Fing...

En garde: Students find passion in fencing

En garde: Students find passion in fencing

By Meg Millure / For The Pitt News

February 17, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

The tall, scuffed, white walls of the racquetball court in Trees Hall echo the sounds of sophomore Gabby Simon’s immaculate footwork as she leads Pitt’s fencing club in drills. The fencers in front of Simon mimic her movement  — squatting in a position reminiscent of a ballet plié — moving backwa...

Sheldon on the sideline: Jeter enjoying stint as managers’ head coach

Sheldon on the sideline: Jeter enjoying stint as managers’ head coach

By Jeremy Tepper / Senior Staff Writer

February 8, 2016


Filed under Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features

Although he would soon get revenge against Georgia Tech, Sheldon Jeter left the Petersen Events Center defeated by the Yellow Jackets Monday night in January. Jeter, a forward on the men’s basketball team, hadn’t played a secret game against Pitt’s ACC foes. Instead, his loss came from the sideline...

Sports Business Association prepares students for work in athletics

Sports Business Association prepares students for work in athletics

By Steve Rotstein / Staff Writer

February 4, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Before Melissa Mele and Kelley George decided to put a non-sports fanatic in charge of Pitt’s Sports Business Association, previous leaders couldn’t seem to keep the club itself in business. “[Mele and George] needed that outside look, that person that could tie in everything other than sports...

Brady McCollough finds story in sport

Brady McCollough finds story in sport

By Conner Blose / For The Pitt News

February 4, 2016


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Well before Brady McCollough appeared on CNN to discuss his interviews with former football players, he tackled subjects a little closer to home. As an elementary school sports fanatic, McCollough was already hard at work — he made his own magazine with profiles of his favorite players and confro...

After bodybuilding career, King making impact as strength and conditioning coach

After bodybuilding career, King making impact as strength and conditioning coach

By Jessie Wallace / Staff Writer

November 11, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features

At the Fitzgerald Field House, a former bodybuilding champion works tirelessly to groom Pitt athletes into top-tier talent. And she does a fine job of it. Kim King, the head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports at Pitt, boasts a professional athletic career — one that transcends gend...

Snow patrol: Ski and Snowboard team ready for season in January

Snow patrol: Ski and Snowboard team ready for season in January

By Steve Rotstein / For the Pitt News

November 3, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Katie Epner, a passionate downhill skier, couldn’t find the sport she wanted at Pitt, but rather than wallow in her sorrows, she went and created a club for it.   Epner is a lifelong skier who competed in races as a high school student in Rochester, New York. A senior media and professional com...

After season abroad, Patterson striving to stick with Hawks

By Jasper Willson / Senior Staff Writer

October 27, 2015


Filed under 2. Featured, Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features

During his one season abroad, Lamar Patterson never talked about hanging around Europe for another campaign. He was going to come home to America to play and stay for good. Last season, the former Pitt basketball player spent his rookie professional season playing for Tofaş Bursa, a top-level Turk...

After trying offseason, Wilson ready for impact on court

After trying offseason, Wilson ready for impact on court

By Jeremy Tepper / Senior Staff Writer

October 21, 2015


Filed under Men's Basketball, Sports, Sports Features, Uncategorized

With the NCAA questioning his academic eligibility following graduation, Pitt basketball commit Damon Wilson was angry. Before the NCAA eventually deemed him eligible for collegiate play in September, it challenged the freshman guard and his teammates’ high school course loads. “When we heard they w...

Fisher brings experience, leadership to Pitt volleyball

Fisher brings experience, leadership to Pitt volleyball

By Jessie Wallace / Staff Writer

October 12, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports / Other Varsity Sports, Sports Features, Top Stories

By 2013, Dan Fisher already had a packed resume. He had completed his collegiate volleyball career at University of the Pacific, participating on the U.S. men’s national team. He coached at four different college programs, compiling an undefeated season at one of them. He served as the offensive coordina...

Dining guide: Rookie of the year: AD’s establishing itself in first year on campus

Dining guide: Rookie of the year: AD’s establishing itself in first year on campus

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

September 30, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

When discussing their joint dream of opening a restaurant and bar, brothers Aaron and Archie Donald considered three locations. They tossed around the idea of Toledo, where Archie played college football for the Toledo Rockets. They mulled over St. Louis, where Aaron was currently located, playing d...

Cheek to cheek: a day with Pitt rugby

Cheek to cheek: a day with Pitt rugby

By Stephen Caruso / Assistant Sports Editor

September 16, 2015


Filed under 2. Featured, Club Sports, Sports Features

Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a two-part, immersive story on Pitt’s Rugby Football Club. We were all pressed against the ground — shirts dirty, dripping sweat, panting heavily and waiting for the whistle that meant “go time.” With helmets, it could have been a scene fro...

From inside the scrum: a firsthand look at Pitt Rugby

From inside the scrum: a firsthand look at Pitt Rugby

By Stephen Caruso / Assistant Sports Editor

September 15, 2015


Filed under Club Sports, Sports, Sports Features

Editors note: This is the first in a two part series about Pitt Rugby. I knew I should have packed my cleats. After endeavouring to partake in a University of Pittsburgh Rugby Football Club’s practice, in the style of late participatory journalist George Plimpton, I had asked a friend who played rugby w...

Scheduling rivals could provide boon to football attendance

Scheduling rivals could provide boon to football attendance

By Stephen Caruso / Assistant Sports Editor

September 14, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Columns, Sports Features

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column calling for Pitt and West Virginia to renew the Backyard Brawl. Last Thursday, by pure happenstance, fate intervened — in the form of Pitt and WVU AD’s Scott Barnes and Shane Lyons, respectively — and made my dream come true. The Panthers will now play the Moun...

Pitt grads build big league careers in media relations

Pitt grads build big league careers in media relations

By Jessie Wallace / Staff Writer

September 11, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Over the years, the football world has recognized Pitt as a sure-fire producer of NFL talent, with stars like Dan Marino, Larry Fitzgerald and LeSean McCoy all making names for themselves in the league. Unknown to most, however, is that Pitt’s pipeline to the NFL features more alumni than just players. The...

Sports medicine lets students stay close to athletics, help others

By Ted Zhang / For The Pitt News

September 11, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Alex Dejong’s sporting career didn’t end by her own choice. A Pittsburgh native, Dejong was an active athlete in high school, playing soccer and running track. That is, until an injury forced her off the playing field. “I tore my ACL my senior year of high school while I was skiing,” Dejong...

Jordan Whitehead uses talent to overcome lack of experience

Jordan Whitehead uses talent to overcome lack of experience

By Jeremy Tepper / Senior Staff Writer

September 3, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Jordan Whitehead might be inexperienced. He might not completely know the playbook. Sometimes, he might not even be in the right place. But whatever mistakes the young defensive back makes early in his career, they’ll be easy to swallow after considering his raw skill and athleticism. The freshm...

K.K. Mosley-Smith triumphs over uncertainty in Pitt football program

K.K. Mosley-Smith triumphs over uncertainty in Pitt football program

By Jeremy Tepper / Senior Staff Writer

September 3, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

K.K. Mosley-Smith prefers not to dwell on the past. Whatever successes and failures he’s lived through, Mosley-Smith likes to keep them in the rearview. “I’m just focused on the future,” Mosley-Smith said. “That’s what type of guy I am. The past is the past because tomorrow’s not promis...

Brian O’Neill builds body, changes positions

Brian O’Neill builds body, changes positions

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

September 3, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

It wasn’t a GNC protein bar or rare animal meat that Pitt redshirt freshman Brian O’Neill credited as a staple of his weight-gaining regimen this offseason. Instead, the first of six meals he ate every day was much more mundane. “I’d wake up at about 3:30 in the morning and eat two peanut but...

‘Clavicle busters’: Pitt running back depth extends past Conner

‘Clavicle busters’: Pitt running back depth extends past Conner

By Stephen Caruso / Assistant Sports Editor

September 3, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

The saying goes that two’s company, and three’s a crowd. But when it comes to a football backfield, Pitt offensive coordinator Jim Chaney thinks otherwise. “I’m going to play everybody I feel like we can put on the field and win with,” Chaney said during Pitt’s training camp. The idea of...

Pitt aims to improve fan gameday experience

Pitt aims to improve fan gameday experience

By Jessie Wallace / For The Pitt News

September 1, 2015


Filed under 2. Featured, Sports, Sports Features

Turning the tide is no easy feat — especially when that tide is a tsunami of students ditching Pitt football games right after “Sweet Caroline” — but new athletic director Scott Barnes won’t ride those waves alone. In June, Barnes revealed his plan for a Panther Fans Experience Committee to en...

Royal pain: Kansas City fans abuse of All-Star voting an abomination

Royal pain: Kansas City fans abuse of All-Star voting an abomination

By Stephen Caruso / Contributing Editor

June 16, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Columns, Sports Features

America has always styled itself as a nation of equality — if you have the skills, you will be rewarded.Of course, this has always been counterbalanced by people’s love of rewarding those they know, that great enemy of democracy and equality — nepotism.Yes, from Tammany Hall to getting that intern...

GoFundMe page hopes to better connect fans to Pitt athletics

GoFundMe page hopes to better connect fans to Pitt athletics

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

June 9, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a better perspective on the modern age of Pitt athletics than Dave Jedlicka.A Western Pennsylvanian since birth, Jedlicka began rooting for Pitt 16 years ago, following a campus tour that solidified the University as his college of choice. He would end up...

A football life

A football life

By Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers

May 28, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

After a long and successful playing career, former Panther Jerry Olsavsky has been bitten by the coaching bug.

After long playing career, Olsavsky finds passion in coaching

After long playing career, Olsavsky finds passion in coaching

By Jasper Wilson / Senior Staff Writer

May 28, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Jerry Olsavsky thought often about what he’d do after his career playing in the NFL ended. Not because he liked to, but because common sense just dictated it. “You could get hurt at any moment, and your career would be over,” Olsavsky said. The 1989 Pitt graduate, who majored in information ...

A new game

A new game

By Theo Schwarz / Visual Editor

May 28, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Opened in 2014 by former Steelers Baron Batch and John Malecki, Studio AM is thriving in Homestead.

Former Steelers bring art to Homestead

Former Steelers bring art to Homestead

By Joe Rokicki / For The Pitt News

May 28, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

For most NFL retirees, life after football is a more direct continuation of the sport — analysts, anchors and coaches all apply the knowledge obtained from their youthful days into a respective post-player genre. However, for entrepreneurial artists and former NFL players Baron Batch and John Maleck...

Running high: Some athletes seeing beneficial side of the pot leaf

By Jasper Wilson / Senior Staff Writer

April 19, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Not everybody pays extra attention to birds singing or the texture of the dirt while they’re running. But Billy Davis said smoking before working out makes you more attuned to life’s simple pleasures.Davis and Tim Smith, who ran cross country in high school shortly after he started smoking, said the p...

Pitt looks for new athletic director to inherit evolving position

By Kevin Wheeler / Staff Writer

April 16, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

With a new athletic director on the way, Pitt’s athletic department could be in for a makeover.The search to find the new leader of the athletic department began in December 2014, when Steve Pederson agreed to part ways with Pitt.According to Randy Juhl, Pitt’s interim athletic director, the Uni...

Don’t judge a book…

Don’t judge a book…

By Heather Tennant / Staff Photographer and TNS

April 13, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Chad Voytik's size should only be an issue on paper to be a successful quarterback.

Coordinating success: New OC and QB coach Jim Chaney builds a relationship with Chad Voytik on and off the field

Coordinating success: New OC and QB coach Jim Chaney builds a relationship with Chad Voytik on and off the field

By Jeremy Tepper / Staff Writer

April 13, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Throughout his lengthy coaching career, new Pitt offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has transformed quarterbacks from unheralded into unstoppable. At Pitt, he is hoping to do the same with redshirt junior quarterback Chad Voytik.The star pupil of Chaney’s that comes to mind is Drew Brees, a record sette...

Pipers’ Pub provides a Premier taste of England

By Jessica Boddy / Staff Writer

April 9, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

You don’t have to travel more than 3,000 miles from Pitt’s campus for authentic British Isles eats accompanied by a warm atmosphere. In fact, it’s just a bus ride away on Port Authority’s 54 line.Piper’s Pub on East Carson Street in South Side serves cuisine of the British Isles while provid...

Bend it like Ben

Bend it like Ben

By Courtesy of Eric Kasperowicz

March 2, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Ben DiNucci chose Pitt after a late push by new coaches Pat Narduzzi and Jim Chaney.

DiNucci passes over Penn for Panthers

DiNucci passes over Penn for Panthers

By Jeremy Tepper / Staff Writer

March 2, 2015


Filed under Football, Sports, Sports Features

Incoming recruit Ben DiNucci will stay closer to home after turning down a cross-state Ivy League education.After months of being vetted by various college football programs, Ben DiNucci finally finished the recruiting process. The Pine-Richland quarterback committed to the University of Pennsylvani...

Quick change

Quick change

By Courtesy of Donnie Tasser

February 17, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Donnie Tasser (bottom) removes a tire from a car while Zac Thomusseit (middle) replaces it with a new one.

The Pit Crew

The Pit Crew

By Courtesy of Zac Thomusseit

February 17, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

Zac Thomusseit, Donnie Tasser and Matt Wilps as part of a developmental pit crew.

Pit(t) stop: Former Panther wrestlers find work with NASCAR

Pit(t) stop: Former Panther wrestlers find work with NASCAR

By Jasper Wilson / Senior Staff Writer

February 17, 2015


Filed under Sports, Sports Features

As they listened to the strange inquiry, they each had the same reaction. It was November 2013, and three former Pitt wrestlers had joined the workforce after finishing school in April: Donnie Tasser helping to coach junior and high school wrestling at his alma mater, Belle Vernon, and doing freelance s...

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