The Pitt News

Ahead of a 2021-22 school year where many of Pitt’s teams have lofty hopes, senior staff writer Kyle Saxon ranks the top five athletic programs to watch next year.

Column | The top five Pitt programs to watch in 2021

By Kyle Saxon, Senior Staff Writer June 28, 2021
Over the past year, several Panther teams reached unprecedented heights and are poised to find even more success in the coming season.
Staff writer Griffin Floyd argued that if students want to see Panther teams succeed at the highest level, they must turn to non-revenue sports such as baseball and women’s volleyball.

Column | To get full Pitt Athletics experience, fans must invest in non-revenue sports

By Griffin Floyd, Staff Writer June 27, 2021
Non-revenue sports are an untapped gold mine for viewing pleasure, especially as they leave Pitt’s flagship sports in the dust from a competitive standpoint.
Kamalani Akeo joined middling Pitt volleyball as a walk-on and left it as a two-time conference champion with three wins in the NCAA Tournament. In her post-playing days, she looks to push program limits even further.

In post-playing days, Akeo bridges two generations of Pitt volleyball excellence

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer June 24, 2021
After Kamalani Akeo finished kickstarting the most successful era in Panthers volleyball history, she returned to Oakland this January as a volunteer assistant coach. Alongside head coach Dan Fisher, Akeo pushed program limits even further — helping the Panthers reach the Elite Eight this spring.
Pitt senior right side hitter Chinaza Ndee reflected on the path that led her to this moment in front of reporters at a Zoom press conference last week. The team captain had just posted a 17-kill performance, boosting her team to a straight-set win over No. 14 Utah to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Panther star Chinaza Ndee embraces leadership role on and off the court

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 23, 2021
Pitt senior Chinaza Ndee has taken her leadership role on the volleyball team in stride, navigating the team to success both on and off the court this year.
Pitt volleyball’s historic NCAA tournament run came to an end on Monday afternoon, and it happened in possibly the most heartbreaking way imaginable.

Panthers’ historic NCAA tournament run ends in heartbreaking fashion, losing 3-2 to No. 6 Washington

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 19, 2021
Pitt’s historic NCAA tournament run came to an end on Monday afternoon, and it happened in possibly the most heartbreaking way imaginable.
Pitt volleyball (18-4) shocked the entire sport on Sunday, outlasting Minnesota (16-3) in a five-set thriller 21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 15-11. The Panthers will face Washington in the Elite Eight on Monday at noon.

Panthers shock No. 3 Minnesota in thrilling comeback, will face Washington in regional finals on Monday

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 19, 2021
Just a few days after its first second-round NCAA Tournament victory, Pitt volleyball shocked the No. 3 Minnesota Gophers in a thrilling comeback. The Panthers will face No. 6 Washington in the Elite Eight on Monday at noon.
Senior right side hitter Chinaza Ndee finished with a team high 17 kills on Thursday night.

Pitt volleyball advances to Sweet 16 for first time in program history

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 16, 2021
The Panthers swept No. 14 Utah behind a powerful performance from senior captain Chinaza Ndee, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
Senior outside hitter Kayla Lund put away three crucial kills at the end of the first set.

Panthers sweep Sharks, advance to NCAA tournament second round

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 15, 2021
Pitt volleyball rewarded its dedicated fans with a late-night sweep in the NCAA tournament first round last night. The Panthers face No. 14 Utah tonight, looking to reach the third round for the first time in program history.
Pitt volleyball’s NCAA tournament campaign begins on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. against LIU and continues with Utah the next day if the team advances.

Fisher, Panthers aim to overcome history of early departures at NCAA tournament

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 14, 2021
In the program’s 46 seasons of competition, no Panther team has made it past the second round of the postseason.
Pitt star forward Amanda West was named ACC Women’s Soccer Player of the Week on Tuesday for her performance in the Panthers’ final game of the regular season against Kentucky.

Panthers receive recognitions across multiple sports

By Alex Lehmbeck, Sports Editor April 9, 2021
Punxsutawney Phil may have had Pitt in mind when he predicted six weeks of winter before one of the most “beautiful and brightest” springs ever. The Panthers got the spring started in great fashion with a slew of accolades across multiple sports.
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