Pitt Volleyball Production Loss – 2021

Here is a great piece written by John Demko (John in South Carolina). He is following Rich and his football production losses by our opponents pieces. Thank you John…and I have to ask our readers ‘Where else can you find Pitt athletics articles with this amount of research and detailed writing from non-professional scribes?’ I’ll answer for you. Nowhere!

Pitt-cocks Fan has been running a series on the production lost from 2021 of the ACC teams along with Pit’s 2022 opponents.  This got me thinking about how much Pitt’s women’s volleyball team lost from the 2021 NCAA semifinalist team.  I knew it would be considerable.  At first glance it appears not only considerable but devastating.

Pitt lost seven players from last year: Kayla Lund, Leketor Member-Meneh, Chinaza Ndee, Kylee Levers, Jordan Lockwood, Anastasia Russ, and Makayla Jackson.  By position we lost four outside hitters, two middle blockers, and one setter.  Two of the outside hitters were six-rotation players.

Kayla Lund was an outstanding four-year starter who was twice named the ACC player of the year.  Last year she was injured on and off all season and had a down year for her.  Leketor Member-Meneh was Pitt’s best player last year and was named MVP of the NCAA Regionals held in Pittsburgh.  Both Kayla and Leketor were the six-rotation players.  Chinaza Ndee was one of our main stays on the front line for the last several years.  Kylee Levers was one of our two main setters for two of the last three years although Rachel Fairbanks displaced her in that role at the end of last season and the playoffs.  All of these players graduated and ran out of eligibility.

Jordan Lockwood played on occasion.  As the year wore on, her playing time decreased.  Jordan entered the transfer portal and in now on the University of Denver roster.  Anastasia Russ, who at 6’-5” tall should have been able to break into the lineup last year but did not, also left via the transfer portal.  She would have been our fourth option at middle blocker this year.  She is now on the Maryland roster where she should see a lot of playing time.  Russ never lived up to her potential here at Pitt.  Makayla Jackson, a third team All American in high school from Plum, did not have any playing time at all last year.  She is not listed on the 2022 roster and is not on any other university’s roster.  She is also a middle blocker who would have mostly sat this year.

Below is a table showing percentage the departing players contributed last year.  Remember Kayla had a down year for her so her loss is not adequately represented by just last year’s numbers.

KillsAssistsAcesDigsRecept.Block
     SingleAssist
Ndee, Chinaza380503616794
Levers, Kylee259119204200
Russ, Anastasia15002016
Lockwood, Jordan8360183225
Member-Meneh, Leketor3642230262732549
Jackson, Makayla0000000
Lund, Kayla3375031258477227
Total118167480780123017201
Overall Team Total179216711841671224555488
% Lost65.9%40.3%43.5%46.7%54.8%30.9%41.2%

On the offensive side almost two thirds of all kills were lost from last year.  Chinaza was Pitt’s leader in kills followed by Leketor and Kayla.  Of the three players, opponents feared Leketor the most and would place two blockers.  This helps explain why Chinaza was the kill leader.  If only Leketor had been a Panther for four years (heavy sigh)!  Chinaza was our leading outside blocker last year and our second leading blocker overall behind Serena Gray who is a middle blocker.  Another major loss, which surprised a bit, was the loss of serve aces.  Both Leketor and Kayla had about 1/6th of our aces apiece.  Along with Kylee the three of them had over 43% of our aces.

One the defensive side more than half of all the receptions were lost as well.  A reception is the first contact on a serve receive.  Leketor was the main target of the other teams’ servers last year due to their belief she was the weakest link in the back row.  She made great progress on her receiving during her short time with Pitt so by tournament time this was no longer the case.  Kayla also was targeted with the same belief.  Kylee was a backrow setter so it is no surprise for the high number of receptions in her stats.  These three players also had a very large portion of the digs, slightly under 50%.

Based on these stats Pitt’s women’s volleyball team should not be considered the ninth best team in the nation in the early season polls by knowledgeable people.  So why the optimism?

The players that are replacing our departing players are the following based on importance for this coming year:  Courtney Buzzerio, Julianna Dalton, Cam Ennis, Dillyn Griffin, and Rachel Jepsen.  Courtney and Cam only will be with us one year as that is all the eligibility they have left.  Julianna has three years of eligibility.  Dillyn and Rachel are recruits out of high school.  Courtney, Julianna, and Rachel have all joined the team earlier this year and went with them on the European tour.  Cam was a late portal addition so she will be joining the team along with Dillyn when the new school year allows.

By position we gained two outside hitters, one outside hitter/setter, one middle blocker, and one defensive specialist.

Courtney and Cam played last year for Iowa and Texas A&M respectively.  Julianna played for Washington State two years ago as a freshman but sat out last year.  Courtney was first team All-Big Ten two years ago and second team All-Big Ten last year on an awful Iowa team.  Julianna was on the All PAC-12 Freshman team her freshman year.  The stats for these three players’ last year of playing are below.

KillsAssistsAcesDigsRecept.Block
     SingleAssist
Buzzerio, Courtney4361930141 042
Iowa Total132324260
 33.0%0.0%16.2%
Dalton, Julianna1515133109639
Ennis, Cam35361122430016
Incoming Totals6226042398409787
% Replaced52.7%8.9%52.5%51.0%33.3%41.2%43.3%

As can be seen we are replacing about half of our kill losses from last year.  Most of this is coming from Courtney.  Julianna’s numbers should increase dramatically to take up an even greater part of the losses.  The rest will have to come from other players now on the Pitt roster.

Courtney, a 6’-5” outside hitter, had one third of all Iowa’s kills last year.  She was a six-position player who was also a very good server that will help replace the aces lost.  She will probably play six-positions at Pitt this year as well.  Iowa did not publish their reception stats so that is why there is no number for that category.

Julianna, also a 6’-5” outside hitter, is the other reason people are high on Pitt volleyball this year.  She has great potential and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Cam, while listed as an outside hitter/setter, will probably not see much playing time as an outside hitter.  Pitt has better internal options such as Valeria Vazquez Gomez and Cat Flood.  Pitt may also be using one of their middle blockers, Sabrina Starks or Chiamaka Nwokolo on the outside as well this year.  Cam’s main function will be as a reserve setter and a backrow defensive specialist.  Coach Fisher does not want to be in the position he was several years ago having to use Lexis Akeo on the front line as a setter.

So why the optimism for Pitt’s women’s volleyball team this year given all the lost production.  The reasons are as follows.

First the additions of Courtney Buzzerio and Julianna Dalton are seen as excellent replacements for two of the three outside hitters lost.  Pitt’s internal candidates for the third outside position should be adequate.  This is especially important for the second six-position player replacement.

Second, Pitt did not lose any middle blockers of note and are really loaded at this position this year.  We also did not lose any defensive specialists/liberos.

Third, with the development of Rachel Fairbanks, the setter position has actually improved even with the loss of Kylee Levers.

Last and probably most importantly, Coach Fisher and his staff has earned the respect of the volleyball community.  They believe with the additions and the carry over players from last year, Pitt will remain a force to be reckoned with not only in the ACC but on the national level as well.

I will follow-up on this article with one in several week on a more detailed review of this year’s roster, the potential starting line-up, and the 2022 schedule.

109 thoughts on “Pitt Volleyball Production Loss – 2021

  1. I watched Pitt during the NCAA’s and felt the tension of the ebb and flow of those games as intense as any basketball game. Their athleticism and team play was fantastic.

    I’m a fan.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you are a fan. That is part of the reason I write the articles, to get more people interested in sport. The women’s game in the U.S. is among the best in the world. It continues to improve.

      I wish collegian indoor men’s volleyball was just as popular as the women’s game. The men’s tournament combines both D1 and D2 teams. There was a total of 7 teams in the entire tournament this spring. Hawaii swept Long Beach State for the championship.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice job detailing the situation John. Very well written with good stats on the newcomers. I’m psyched for the season! During two of the biggest weekends of games this fall I have out of town weddings to go to- UGH!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In case you missed it on the previous thread, I’ll say it again.

    70 bucks for season ticket for Pitt Women’s Volleyball has to be the best sports entertainment value any where.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve been a volleyball fan (and Dad) since my two daughters played in CYO. I became a Pitt volleyball fan a few years ago when they were winning ACC championships and competing in the NCAA tournament. I’ll never forget the sweep of PSU up at Rec Hall a few years ago. Likewise, I’ll never forget the upset loss to Cincinnati in the 2nd round of the NCAA’s three years ago. John in SC did a great job of summarizing the losses to graduation and transfers. It’s too bad that two of those transfers were local kids, because the Pittsburgh Metro area has some talented HS players and it’s always nice to keep them at home for the next level. Based on the players Coach Fisher has recruited for the coming year, I think Pitt may be just as skilled as last year, and with the additional height, may revisit the Final Four. Let’s see how quickly they jell with the new faces and very difficult early schedule.

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  5. OT – In a Sports Illustrated article, the Ohio State head coach told a group of Columbus business folks that the Buckeyes will need 13 million bucks to maintain their roster.

    A quote: “At the event, Day said that Ohio State’s staff has been gathering information regarding the cost of recruiting top-tier athletes to the football program. Through discussions with recruits and their families, Day believes that top quarterbacks require $2 million in NIL money, while offensive tackles and edge rushers require around $1 million.”

    While this is not surprising, seeing it in writing really highlights how ridiculous things have gotten.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Hard to put the genie back into the bottle. How can a kid get 2M per year and get paid in 2022-23, but when the rules come out eventually, you can’t get paid? Try un-doing that! Working on solutions to reign in this issue. The universities continue to hold strong that they do not want these players to count as employees and then unionize. Really interesting arguments on both sides.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. John in South Carolina— thank you for this article. Interesting to get an idea of the gains and losses, even though I don’t follow the VB team in detail.

    (And being a fan of the women’s BB team, I wish the BB team could borrow one of those 6’5” young ladies…)

    I remember complimenting Coach Fisher at a golf event before last season. At that time he said last year’s team would be very, very good, but that this year’s team would require a lot of work. Looks like Coach has done an excellent job of attracting new talent…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pitt FB with 14 selections to the pre-season All ACC team – most of any other team.

    I posted the details last night, but they never made it through.

    Notable addition was WR Mumpfield and missing was QB Slovis.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Found yours and Annie’s hung-up comments. Approved both. Yours is on the Tennessee’s article. Annie’s is above.

      Maybe WordPress doesn’t like me being away from my home base. That’s three since I got to Columbia.

      Like

  8. John – Thanks for the article. You did an excellent job of explaining Pitt’s losses and what has been done to keep the program going as a top tier VB team.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great summary, John. thanks !

    Somewhere in the misty memory banks of my mind, I seem to remember reading (last year ? on the POV) an article that was a fairly detailed introduction to the sport of volleyball — fantastic for those of us who know little or nothing about the sport. I meant to save/bookmark it so I could use it as a primer for the coming season. Alas, I didn’t. If anyone could point me to the article, it would be much appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. There is one error in the article. The number of substitutions is now 15. This rule change occurred in the fall of 2012. Previously it had been 12. This is why defensive specialists have become more important in the backrow. Their use has increased dramatically in the last several years and played a major role in the finals of last year’s NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship match.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lastrow nailed it.

      Check if you’re still “logged in as ajs32” in the comment box…

      Like

    2. Make sure you click on “Like” and not “by x people”. I have a habit of checking to see who else liked a comment then clicking on “by x people” and then wondering why it didn’t add me.

      Like

  10. ajs, sometimes I just have to restart my phone to fix that or sometimes log back into WordPress.

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  11. Let’s hope Coach Fisher stays at Pitt. California will be calling soon with much more money and a chance to go back to his roots. The new venue should help him with recruiting. And the acc is slowly becoming more respectable in volleyball. Pitt volleyball has always been good. Now it’s near elite status. The gals were good during my Big East days.

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    1. I really don’t think Fisher will go to California because his family does like it (t)here in Pennsylvania. Of course, if he goes, I would quickly switch my tune and consider it logical based on his roots (as you refer to in your comment).

      Some people still think Fisher or Dani Busboom Kelly could be poached away. If Salima rocks it at Norte Dame, do you think that helps accelerate the ACC’s slow rise in volleyball respectability or when other big time coaches from other conferences finally retire, we will have a potential exodus of three+ ACC coaches at the same time?

      Last season’s final four run and Fisher not going to PSU seems to support Fisher staying at PITT.

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      1. I hope he does stay. I’m sure he and his family like the area. But a California school could easily double his salary. I’m not sure that Pitt could counter the offer. Let’s hope Pitt doesn’t find itself in that situation. But if I were AD, I’d find the money. Fisher like Coach Jay are the best coaches that Pitt has.

        The move into a volleyball specific venue will help with recruiting. Along with the rise in acc respectability driven in a large part by Pitt. Pitt is now playing several marquee schools outside the conference each year to build up their strength of schedule. That plays a large part in seedings for the tournament.

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  12. with the money being discussed around NIL I see Pitt returning to mediocrity very soon

    under those circumstances it’ll be far easier to accept staying out of the fray,,,, for me anyway

    .

    I’ve easily turned away from pro sports where we had in the past attended Orioles and Redskin games but the outrageous costs far exceeded any entertainment dollar ROI

    for me if Pitt played in the collegiate world where 4 year scholarships and the added benefits of room/board and post college planning for success were all that were offered, I’d be very satisfied supporting that model even if the head coaches were rather highly paid

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    1. Wait five years and Pitt will be in a better place. Pitt ain’t going to be invited to the new super league. But if you like playing Rutgers, Maryland, temple and Buffalo ( I luv me the Bulls…SUNY school), the new model will make you a fan.

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  13. How about they just pay each of the top 50 guys on each team $50,000. Take the $2.5 Million you need for that out of the head coaches salary. Easy peasy.

    Any other benefits continue to be under the table.

    Go Pitt.

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  14. I predict this whole NIL thing is going to blow up.. There are a hundred reasons why the whole system will go South. The money men have no real interest or belief that these young players will actually produce a return on their investment. The NIL money will be provided in lieu of donations to the athletic programs themselves.

    To begin with, how much of this money will be paid up front? In the NBA or NFL the players get a big chunk of multi-year contract money up front or guaranteed. Will these players agree in writing not to flunk out, get hurt or transfer, and to stay for 3 years even if they are sitting on the bench? Drug use or DUI? Whoops, good bye money!

    In a real business, the investor would pay the service provider only after services are rendered, and with college kids this makes even more sense. Public figures and professional athletes would have a morals clause. Will college players? I predict most players will violate the terms of their agreements in some manner, and will never see a fraction of the promised money.

    A school like Alabama will probably recruit two 5 star QBs, and would both get the $2 million? One of them is not going to play and will probably transfer. Investors would get shafted if they paid the cash up front. And OSU probably just stuck another knife in the new system by flagrantly and outwardly recruiting donors to fund NIL. The NCAA can’t just ignore this. And the investors aren’t stupid..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really get what you mean. All these kids are signing endorsement deals. I’m sure some have benchmarks. Some probably don’t. Its a contract so they have to abide by the contract that they sign. Most schools already have an advisory committee to help players with the contracts.

      Pitt has Alliance 412 spearheaded by the one and only Chris Bickell. This is commonplace across the P5.

      https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2022/04/12/alliance-412s-goal-to-provide-pitt-student-athletes-nil-opportunities/

      Like

    1. Will be interesting to see how these transfers work out. Last year some of the players they brought in couldn’t even get off the bench – for a team that wasn’t very good.

      These guys seem to sound like they have higher potential – but still seems like potluck…

      They have concentrated on shooters, so that’s a definite positive.

      I guess the Spanish guard is out now? Do we try for another “big?”

      Are Fran and Wolfe – and Dan- at all optimistic? Inquiring minds…

      Go Pitt

      Go Pitt

      Like

      1. Cashius (corrected spelling) McNeilly was a flyer because the Spanish guard became more of a long shot, which has burned Jeff in the past (long shots with no back-up plan).

        McNeilly has jumped around (more than a kid in a bounce room) to several programs since 2019, yet somehow he still has 3 years of eligibility left.

        I believe the program trail goes something like this – TX A&M, TCU, JUCO in OK, MD and now Pitt. I may have even missed one – HS commit out of Ontario, Canada to TX A&M where he RS’d due to injury. Transferred to TCU but never officially joined the team (did not fit into the campus/culture) and immediately jumped to JUCO to play. While at the JUCO, committed to Danny Manning at MD, but de-committed with the coaching change.

        A PG would be nice – Nelly Cummins is called a PG but from what I’m hearing he is more of a combo guard.

        Potluck mixture is a good description Major. I’m interested in which player you pick as a favorite – last year your pre-season pick was Mo G. Boy was he fun to watch. On a good team he would have jumped out of the gym.

        Go Pitt!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Tossing, Alliance 412 is a good organization but they don’t provide the money. The endorsement deals rely on someone else to pay the bucks. So the question remains: what do they get for their money?

    Like

    1. Yeah, I know. They consult for the athletes to help them sign good endorsement deals so they are not taken advantage of. I still don’t get the point you’re making. They get whatever the contracts ask them to provide. Its literally no different than a professional signing an endorsement contract. Each one will be different so there is no one answer to the question. It’s whatever they signed up to do for the money. It’s a contract. It’s exactly how you described it. If they don’t meet contract requirements they won’t get paid. If they do they will. If they have to stay for x amount of time and leave they won’t get paid in full. If there is guaranteed money involved it’s exactly that, guaranteed.

      Like

  16. Cashius can play! But….. Capel desperately needs an ACC point guard or we’re back to a bunch of guys “running around!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So Dan if they don’t get the elusive point guard, what is the starting lineup?
      It is going to be very interesting to see how much each of these guys play.
      Probably a lot to be determined by who are the best defenders.

      Like

      1. Hugley, the only guy to be a lock to be on the floor most of the time. Everyone else will have to earn their playing time in practice. Absolutely the most depth Pitt has had as long as I can remember, will be interesting to see which guys step up to the big time. When do these guys get on campus nd start working out together? A little surprised that Jeffress didn’t enter the portal, stands to lose most of his playing time.

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  17. 2nd FB commit this weekend is Kenny Johnson from York PA, which has to be Nit territory. In addition to PSU, he was offered by WVU, Louisville Va Tech, BC, Minnesota and Cincy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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    1. WOWZA Old Isnore lives in York and believe me this is fantastic news to see a local Yorky Dorky pass on PSUX for Pitt!! The people around here bleed Happy Valley. Interesting side note- I have 3 neighbors who have their sons and daughters attending Pitt or about to….all very smart kids. So, the word has been getting out that Pitt is an excellent school and you don’t have to tip cows for fun…MOOOOO.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. Per Duzz Twitter and Pantherlair, Pitt got 6 commits this weekend. Seems to me that Chris Bickel is kicking butt ever since he arrived

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  19. Pitt’s 3rd commit is a DT Antonio Carmen from Florida. Other offers are FSU, PSU, WVU, Va Tech, So Car, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Louisville and Nebraska

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  20. Pitt with 8 commits and a ranking of 22nd.

    The hoopies with 8 commits and ranked 16th.

    The vols with 7 commits and ranked 9th.

    The difference is 4 star rated talent – Pitt with none on the board and the other two with several.

    SOURCE: Rivals.com

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  21. Up to 40 percent of a teams success is driven by recruiting stars

    https://athleticdirectoru.com/articles/do-football-recruiting-ratings-matter/

    The other 60 percent must be coaching as in running the best schemes and systems for the talent and of course developing that talent. And then just game day coaching.

    Pitt really does need to recruit more quality. To be consistently successful, Pitt has to out recruit other coastal schools. I think that is far easier done than out coaching them.

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  22. You have to wonder how many of these verbals we may lose when they have great senior years and the schools with deep pockets come sniffing around. In trying to address a problem the NCAA made thing infinitely worse.

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  23. It appears that Pitt’s recruiting strategy is to recruit high 3 star athletes that seem to be totally committed to Pitt. The 5 stars will probably get most of the big NIL money, while the 3 and 4 stars will get some local restaurant and auto promotion pocket money. Pitt has shown that locker room harmony (good for football and bad for basketball) is a more valuable characteristic than the possibility of having disgruntled players getting paid nothing while there are one or two millionaire recruits among the group.

    I’m still wondering what Addison must do to earn his $3 million NIL money. Just show up? Catch 100 passes? Stay 2 years? These NIL contracts will probably remain confidential, so the form, nature and timing of the bribe will remain unknown. How rich must one be to throw away $3 million on a college player who may never make a difference, and who might actually contribute to locker room discord??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Obviously Pitt got very lucky that Addison turned out to be a superstar last year to go along with KP’s great year. You must have a few of those to compete at the highest levels.

      Unfortunately when Pitt or other similar schools get lucky their stars will be poached under the new system making it more difficult to compete at that highest level on a sustained basis.

      IMHO the loss of Addison will probably cost Pitt two or more losses this year. He is that good, he is a game changer that doesn’t come around that often. It is just a damn shame.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. But GC, the question is what will he add for USC that justifies all that money for maybe one year? One reason I predicted that NIL will collapse of its own weight is that these college kids will inevitably disappoint their donors and eventually the system will be reduced to a few players on each team getting deals to sponsor some auto dealership..

        Like

        1. I don’t know VOR, there is an amazing amount of money blown on gambling at all levels and I think Addison is a pretty sure bet unless he gets injured. These guys have so much stupid money that it doesn’t matter to them as much as their egos.

          What would Aaron Donald have been worth after his junior year, Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, Larry Fitzgerald? No doubt there will be busts and guys will not live up to the money paid them. Particularly freshmen who will fail at a higher rate, but stars are stars. Addison is going to forget how to get open and his hands aren’t going to suddenly stop catching balls. He isn’t going to forget how to run back punts.
          In the Wake game after his first punt return, Wake kicked the ball out of bounds every time giving up a lot of potential field position.

          The rich guys will continue to pick off the schools that can’t afford the big contracts or just don’t want to play that game. The horse has escaped the barn, I don’t see how they get him back in.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You are right. Those with money want to win. Spending a few million gambling or as an investment is chump change.

            Many wealthy individuals pour money into sports. It’s entertainment dollars for them and a chance to buy influence.

            The money to buy athletes and wins will always be there. It’s not going away and always was just in the shadows until now.

            However this will impact pitts ability to recruit talent (4 star players) unless Pitt plays the game. No 4 stars yet but look at Tennessee and wvu. Yes they are paying for them.

            And let’s not fool ourselves that it’s a game that’s too dirty for pitt. Pitt is no different regarding moral authority. They just struggle to find the donors for good reason.

            And finding diamonds in the rough and coaching up is not the answer either. It’s not sustainable nor does it provide consistent results. The pitt staff doesn’t have savants working for them and the staff is no more special than other coastal schools. Every school having won a division title.

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      2. KP is the far bigger loss. Teams without QB’s go nowhere. Pitt now has two unproven ones in brand new systems. This season could get ugly real fast out of the gates.

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        1. Have a little faith. Slovis has played well and Patti has been waiting a long time. This is college football. Change is the only constant. KP had one great year. It could’ve got ugly even with Kenny.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Slovis currently ranked 8th in the ACC among starting QB’s. We don’t even know if he is #1 among Pitt QB’s.

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    2. Right VoR, PITT and hairy legs have done a great job of eyeballing recruits picking up the diamonds in the rough. Now that college football has noticed how good Narduzzi is at this style, the recruits recognize and trust that the meatball can get them in the next level of football.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Help usc win a game or two. Help them win the pac 12. Help them get into bcs contention. These millionaires aren’t just paying him. That QB of theirs is probably making ten million.

      Like

  24. Some additional Pitt related volleyball news:

    Rachel Fairbanks has been named as one of the twelve players on the U.S.A. under 21 National Team. She will be used as a setter. They will be playing in the upcoming Pan Am games in Mexico. This is very good news as it means she is fully recovered from her recent injury!

    Dan Fisher is the head coach of the U.S.A. team. Heather Olmstead, the BYU head coach, is one of his assistants. This is why Pitt always seems to always be able to schedule BYU in its O.O.C. schedule every year.

    The #1 ranked senior U.S.A. team defeated Canada yesterday in a 3-set sweep. Pitt alumni Layne Van Buskirk is a middle blocker on the #21 ranked Canadian senior team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Correction: While Layne shows up as a member of the Canadian Senior team on their website, she did not show up on the roster for Volleyball Nations League tournament I referenced above.

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    2. Big girls volleyball weekend in Cbus. Big10 vball coaches all represented. Didn’t see any Pitt representation, granted, there were hundreds of teams and thousands of people at the columbus convention center. Some really good talent from all over the country representing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s where the coaches see their prospects. It was always cool to see a big name coach watching your kid’s match. All the parents are looking around and wondering which girl the coach is looking at….

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Billy Horschel, the golfer leading the Memorial Tournament hosted by the Golden Bear will be wear Pitt colors for the next 4 hours while leading by 5 strokes.

    Go Pitt!

    Like

  26. Would be nice to see 3 good OL recruits…. OL recruitment has always lagged… need to score a lot of points to be a consistent winner and that starts up front…. Let’s go an get some road graders Pat

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Erie found me out. After that 65 yesterday, paid Horschel $2.3M to wear Pitt colors today.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol – this is a tough course to hold a 5 stroke lead for anyone.

      One of the pros had a 10 on a hole this week and made the cut.

      WWB – having lived in Ohio, did you ever play Murfield? Maybe as a guest of Jack?

      Like

  28. Carlton Carrington from St Francis Right here in Baltimore visiting Pitt this weekend. 5 Star shooting/point guard. I’ve seen him play and he might be the best recruit ever if Pitt gets him. Silky smooth jumper, think Billy Knight, great ball handler. He’d start next year for Pitt if we get him. He’d turn proo ok in two years. His second visit with much communication over the last year with Capel.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Capel may give this PG most of his salary just to save “face”/reputation. Plus, this would be Jeff’s 1st PG during his time at Pitt.

        One player like this could get Pitt back to winning and make the Pete a home court advantage again.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Never played Muirfield or Firestone. The 2 courses I played in Ohio that you may have heard of is Windmill Lakes (home course of British Open champ Ben Curtis) and Avalon Lakes (former LPGA stop)

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    1. Played Muirfield four years ago. It is an amazing track. They frowned on us for wanting to play from the tips, but we did so just to understand the difficulty a little better. Got in trouble for having a cell phone on in the clubhouse which is strictly forbidden. Milkshakes were awesome! Stayed and played Firestone for a weekend about 15 years ago. Stayed in the Lee Trevino room on-site. Excellent course. It was just a great weekend and played it right after the tournament weekend.

      A track that used to be right up there with Muirfield was Longaberger Golf Course, which is always ranked as a top course in Ohio. It is Public and will run you about 80 bucks to play. Tremendous course. It was sold about four years ago and is now named Virtues. Haven’t played since the ownership change. Had some out of towners come in and we played Muirfield on Friday and Longabergers/Virtues on Saturday and three of the four enjoyed longabergers more than Muirfield.

      Played Avalon Lakes two years ago and it is also a real nice track. Would put that at 5th on my Ohio list, immediately preceded by Inverness in Toledo. They are making many changes to Inverness in an effort to get a PGA Championship there. Oddly, they have been asked to take down trees which would allow for more gallery viewing. Also at number 5 would be the Scarlet Course at OSU. Scarlet and Virtues are public. Great golfing!

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  30. Pitt wrestler, rising redshirt senior Cole Matthews, won the 65kg (143 lbs) title at the USA U23 World Team Trials, making him the U23 Freestyle National Champion.

    Per PSN

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  31. He’s from Greenville in Mercer. Not penn state territory. Sw/wpa has a treasure trove of elite wrestling talent.

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  32. Watching Michael Kemerer , 5 time All- American wrestler for the Iowa Hawkeyes… graduate of Franklin Regional HS…. Lots of wrastlin’ locally going to St Elsewhere( same with hockey talent)

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  33. College baseball regional update:

    GT has a 4-0 lead over the #1 seed Tennessee in the bottom of the 4th with 2 Yellow Jackets on base with one out.

    The field in the southern SEC is artificial turf all around except the pitchers mound, just like Pitt’s Cost Field. The only difference is the stands which holds many fans, not just dogs.

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    1. Same in Austin. I was surprised it wasn’t real grass. Must be driven by maintenance cost. To have great grass you need to hire a professional grounds crew. Can’t over water or over fertilize Bermuda.

      Personally I prefer real grass although I hear the new field turf is very good. FIFA gives it the highest certification. Steelers practice facilities have it. But not at Heinz. It’s a softer surface with more spring. Mercedes Benz in Atlanta just got it installed. Two FC Atlanta players had non contact injuries so it got a bad rap down there but I think that could happen on any surface. Nearly a third of nfl teams play on this surface.

      Artificial surfaces have come a long way from the hard concrete Astro turf days which was nothing more than concrete painted green.

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      1. I like dirty uniforms… playing in the muddy back-yard after a good downpour was always a thrill as a young kid.

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  34. Louisville BB beat Michigan 20-1 yesterday. I believe ACC can have 4 or 5 teams advance to WS

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  35. Pitt seems to have recruiting down to a science with well planned professionally programmed visits.
    Every recruit seems very impressed.

    Congrats to Coach Duzz and “Wood” for creating a “program” not just a football team!

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  36. Now you got it Dan, with another good year I might begin to think King Duzz becomes highly valued. Good thing the PITT administration has made him feel wanted over the more lean times…

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  37. Re-worked contract for Aaron Donald…

    “No new years were added to Donald’s contract, which now guarantees him $65 million over the next two seasons and $95 million through the 2024 season, Rapoport added. In all, Donald nets a $40 million raise over his previous contract, which carried a base salary of just $9.25 million into the 2022 season.”

    Go AD!

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        1. Outside the stadium a statute of AD tackling both the QB and RB at the same time ‘cause he wasn’t sure which one had the ball…. 👍

          Go Pitt.

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