The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford volleyball team picked up a quick 3-0 victory against D'Youville College in their first game on their home court in over two weeks.
The Panthers struggled to get ahead in the first two sets but dominated in the third to put it away in straight sets. In the opening set, they opened up a six- oint lead after a scoring run that saw Pitt-Bradford score 8 out of 10 points. After a D'Youville time out, the Panthers added to their lead as Riley Anderson put away a kill, Tabitha Walker picked up a service ace and Elizabeth Johnson put down a block to make the score 16-8. The Spartans responded following the block as they put on an even more impressive series of rallies. They turned the 8-point deficit into a 3-point lead with a 14 to 5 run late in the set. Pitt-Bradford finished the set as strong as it began, as they scored 6 in a row to close out the set, punctuated by an Anderson kill.
The second set of the match saw D'Youville jump ahead, using 6 kills and 4 errors to take a 10-5 lead. They were slowed by a D'Youville kill at 22-20 but saw two straight errors and a block from Katie Treat to win the race to 25.
Set three was a much calmer affair for the Panthers. Halfway through the set, they scored 10 straight points on a Kaitlyn Sexton serving streak that saw 6 kills, a block, 2 service aces, and 2 D'Youville timeouts before it came to an end. With a 17-7 lead, Pitt-Bradford was able to coast to a 25-14 win to finish the match.
"It's always nice to pick up a conference win, especially on our home court,” UPB head coach Tom Roof said. “D'Youville played really well and gave us a good test. There were some times we got ourselves into trouble, but it was good to see us face a little adversity but persevere and come away with a win. Laura Hildenbrand and Alayna Seggi had good games and out outsides hit well."
Emily Cleveland led the way for the Panthers with 10 kills on 24 swings despite only playing in two sets. She also chipped in 2 service aces and 1.5 blocks. Riley Anderson had another good all-around performance with 7 kills on 14 swings, 7 digs, and 1.5 blocks. Tabitha Walker finished with 19 assists while Gabby Barnes chipped in 17 of her own. On defense, the Panthers put in a balanced effort that saw them collect 46 digs and 11 blocks on 97 attacks. 12 different players recorded digs while Laura Hildebrand led the way with 11. Elizabeth Johnson scored 7.5 points for the Panthers collecting 4 kills and 3.5 blocks.
With the win, Pitt-Bradford moves its record to 11-9 with a conference record of 3-1. On Saturday, they will travel to John Carroll to play in a tri-match with the hosts and Capital University. They will first take on Capital at 2 p.m. and directly follow that with a game against the host Blue Streaks at 4 o’clock.