Pitt Volleyball’s Blue-Gold Scrimmage

Volleyball Blue- Gold Game by Annie

Pitt’s Volleyball team had its pre-season Blue-Gold scrimmage Saturday at Fitzgerald Field House. The fan turnout was less than I had expected, based on the success of the team last year. There were only about a couple hundred people there, if that many. The team also invited all season ticket holders to a reception on the FH balcony after the game, with Coach Fisher addressing the group. More about that later.

The scrimmage was four sets, with the teams made up of different players each set.

The returning players from last season, year, and position are:

Lexis Akeo, SR, Setter (S)

Valeria Vazques Gomez, RSJr, Outside Hitter (OH)

Cat Flood, JR, OH

Ashley Browske, SR, Libero (L)

Rachel Fairbanks, Soph, S

Sabrina Starks, Grad, Middle Blocker (MB)

EmmY Klika, Soph, L

Eliana Posada, RSFr, Right Side (RS)

Chiamaka Nwokolo, SR, MB/RS

Serena Gray, Grad, MB

New Faces are:

Cam Ennis- Grad, OH/S

Rachel Jepsen, Fr, MB

Juliana Dalton, Soph, OH

Courtney Buzzerio, Grad, RS/S

Dillyn Griffin, FR, Defensive Specialist (DS)

Non-game observations I had – The Field House was outfitted with air conditioning. I don’t remember it having AC in the past, and the players would sweat all over the court. Today there was definitely AC keeping the temperature comfortable. I wore a sleeveless shirt in anticipation of sweating my butt off, but almost felt a chill instead.

New uniforms- of course they would have new uniforms, but the gold team wore sleeveless shirts, and some of the players wore arm sleeves. Many players use these to soften the sting of passing the hard hits from attacking opposing players. It is a sharp look.

Referees- as the match was going on (using four refs), there were six more sitting on the bench that rotated in during various sets. I guess this was either a training session for newbies or regulars needing a scrimmage also. They looked like newbies to me.

Set 1 Gold Team

Buzzerio, Fairbanks, Starks, Jepsen, Browske, Griffin, Flood, Ennis

(Jepsen and Starks play front row only)

Coaches: Lindsey Behonick and Michael Fisher

Set 1 Blue Team

Kamalani Akeo (coach), Dalton, Klika, Posada, Nwokolo, Gray, Vaazquez Gomez

(Lexis Akeo did not play, her older sister did the setting)

Coaches: HC Dan Fisher and Kellen Petrone

The teams played very fast. Several writers say one of the toughest things about Pitt VB is their fast offense. It doesn’t give the defense times to adjust and put up a block. That was evident again today. It also made it hard to watch the game and analyze the individual players.

The team is taller than in the past, and I was impressed with the number of blocks that went straight or nearly straight down. The combination of Jepsen and Buzzerio for the gold team was very effective.

The Gold team started hot and forced the blue team to call timeout at 11-5.

For the Gold team, Sabrina Starks played well with a couple kills and blocks. Cat Flood looked improved from last season, and got an ace and a couple kills.

For the Blue Vazquez Gomez was hot and cold. At times, she had trouble getting past the block, but when she had an opening she pounded the ball. I have been critical of Posada in the past. Today she looked a little improved and had a couple kills. She does not have any hops, and does not have a particularly fast swing, so I see that being a problem against our big opponents. Without the block there she can put the ball down though.

The Gold team won Set 1 25-14. Stats from Set 1:

            Blue                            Gold

              9            Kills               10

              9            Assists            9

             11           Digs              17

               3           Blocks          6.5

               0           Aces               3

The Gold team handily won with aces, blocks, and digs.

Set 2 Gold Team

Ennis, Browske, Griffin, Starks, Kilka, Vazquez Gomez, Posada

(Posada did not play in this set, Ennis was the setter)

Set 2 Blue Team

Fairbanks, Gray, Flood, Buzzerio, Nwokolo, Dalton, Jepson

The fast play from Set 1 continued. Sabrina Starks is having a good blocking day. A timeout was called by the Blue team with Gold up 15-11. Later, it was Gold that called T.O. with the score 21-19. After back and forth scoring, it was the Blue team that pulled out the win 28-26.

I forgot to take a picture of the stats at the end of that set.

Set 3 Gold Team

Griffin, Ennis, Klika, Dalton, Jepsen, Buzzerio, Gray, Posada

(Posada did not play in this set. Ennis was the setter.)

Coaches: HC Dan Fisher and Lindsey Behonick

Set 3 Blue Team

Vazquez Gomez, Fairbanks, Browske, Flood, Starks, Nwokolo

Coaches: Michael Fisher and Kellen Petrone

Nwokolo played better early in this set. Not that she played badly earlier, she just wasn’t the  dominating factor we know she can be. Later I noticed she was slow to get to the block, and caused Flood to put up single blocks. Vazquez Gomez really moved well and played tough all over the court.  Cat Flood also looked strong with a couple kills and blocks.

Blue took control of the set early causing Gold to call TO with the score at 9-6, then again at 16-8. With the score 24-14 Blue, Gold had a little run to take the score to 17, but then Blue put it away 25-17.

Stats at the end of Set 3.

           Blue                             Gold

              41           Kills             37

              39           Assists        34

              35           Digs              40

              15           Blocks        12.5

               1            Aces               5

Set 4  Blue Team

Ennis, Browske, Starks, Buzzerio, Nwokolo, Vazquez Gomez

Coaches: Kellen Petrone and Mike Fisher

Set 4 Gold Team

Fairbanks, Klika, Griffin, Posada, Jepsen, Flood, Dalton, Gray

(Dalton and Gray did not play)

Coaches: HC Dan Fisher and Lindsey Behonik

This set was played to 15. Gold started slowly and called a T.O. with the score 5-0.  Things did not get better, and the final score was 15-6.

Final Stats

   Blue                         Gold

    50           Kills             41

    48           Assists        37

    42           Digs            44

    17           Blocks        13.5

     2            Aces             6

Several players went 3-1 during the scrimmage. The rest did not. It has no reflection on how they played though. The teams were very competitive and each team had great plays. The players who went 3-1 were Flood, Browske, Fairbanks, Starks, Nwokolo, and Buzzerio.

After the scrimmage there was an autograph session with the players, then a reception up on the balcony for season ticket holders. They had snacks and light refreshments.  HC Fisher introduced each of the players and coaches, and gave a little information about each one. He then gave the players five minutes to mingle around with the crowd. I was by myself and stood up to talk to Vazquez Gomez (I was going to tell her about how much Wolfe loves her), but she was talking to someone else. Cat Flood and Rachael Fairbanks were standing near me and came over and introduced themselves. We had a nice chat, and as you would expect, they are very nice and appreciative of the support we give them.

HC Fisher explained about why he scheduled the teams to play that he did. The number one goal for the team is to make it into the tourney. After that, it’s to have a high enough RPI and be ranked so that we can be eligible to host the first two rounds of the tourney.  So the teams he chose have the ability to be ranked, win a lot of games (20+), and also make it into the tourney.

We also learned a few things:

The teams will switch sides between sets this year, going back to the pre-Covid  rules.When the play is over and the point awarded, the team with the serve has 20 seconds to get the serve off, otherwise they lose the point and the serve. Apparently during the tourney  Valeria Vazquez Gomez took 12 seconds to get her serves off, so a rule change was put in place.

Victory Heights is under construction. Yes, dirt has been moved! The Performance Center where the VB team will play is expected to be done by the fall of 2024. We shall see.

Theoretically, having success on the court brings in better recruits. Coach affirmed that to be true. We have four (I think) for next year and two for 2024. He said next year’s incoming players is the strongest group he has ever had. LOI are signed in November. He could not elaborate after that due to NCAA rules.

 Rachael Jepsen has only been playing volleyball for two years. The ceiling is sky high for her.

Despite being 6-5” Courtney Buzzerio has played setter for two years, so if we get in trouble with injuries she is an option, along with Cam Ennis.

Lexis Akeo did not play because of “a slight injury”. Hopefully she will be ready to go for the season.

When asked who the next Leketor Member-Meneh would be for this team, coach said he thinks it will be by the collection of players instead of just one. Who knows, someone may jump out during the season. Lek was not a starter last year until Vazquez Gomez went out with an injury. After that Vazquez Gomez (VG) could not win the job back.

They want VG to work on her passing. She was targeted during the playoffs last year, so that has been a point of emphasis during the off-season. She played on a Puerto Rico National Team over the summer so that was great competition and experience for her.

There is a big competition going on for the libero position. Ashley Browske was the starter last year but faded during the tourney, and  Emmy Klika stepped in and did a great job. To this point HC Fisher said they could not make a decision on who the starter will be yet.

Competition for each spot is fierce, and it makes better players of all of them.

I did not think anyone stuck out as a superstar  “take over the game player” this year like Lek did last year. That being said, there wasn’t a single rotation that I thought was weak up front. The coaches have their work cut out for them to put together the best combination of players. We are going to be good. In the unfortunate case of an injury happening, we are deep. And we should not get out-blocked by taller teams this year. We are tall.

I thought Valeria Vazquez Gomez improved from last year. Her intensity was raised to another level. Cat Flood also improved, and Sabrina Starks was a beast. The extra competition has definitely helped her elevate her game.

We go into this season ranked #6. Get ready for some fun again this year. Support the team by coming back to the Field House for games and cheer on the players.

H2P!!

61 thoughts on “Pitt Volleyball’s Blue-Gold Scrimmage

  1. Very nice job, Annie. Makes me wish I had been there.

    I am amazed at how many great writers there are among the POV posters.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice work, Annie! You and John have really created interest in Pitt women’s VB among the POV community. Many thanks for keeping us informed and please keep up your excellent coverage of the VB activities at Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You guys are so very important to the POV. New writers bring a sense of balance and anticipation to the reader and that is what sets this blog apart from others – that and the fact that this blog is not a business but something that is solely for enjoyment.

    The reader/commenter turned writer has kept the POV not just afloat but steaming ahead in ways it never did before.

    My sincere thanks to all for that.

    On another note, EJ has me at the “media table” for the football Kickoff Luncheon on Friday so I better wear my big boy pants. I’ll keep reminding myself that maturity is the theme of the day.

    Is anyone else attending?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Annie a BIG thanks for keeping us well informed about the progress of our volleyball team. I have complete faith in Coach Fisher to work out the kinks early in the season and lead us on to a very strong showing in 2022-2023.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great article Annie. I was eagerly waiting for it.

    Fisher getting Ennis was a great move. She is a taller setter. Using Buzzerio as a setter would not be ideal. The only reason she was used as a setter in Iowa was that they were so bad at that position at the time.

    All four of this year’s class commits were invited to the USA Volleyball facilities to take part in the National Team Development program. Blair Bayless posted a photo of all of them together on her Twitter account. Coach Fisher’s connections nationally are amazing.

    I underestimated the western teams on Pitt’s OOC schedule. San Diego, Pitt’s first opponent is ranked #25, and Hawaii, also in the same tournament, is receiving votes.

    Some other Pitt related volleyball news: Anistasia Russ, who transferred to Maryland, is being redshirted this year. Lesli Akeo, Lexis’ and Kamalani’s older sister, is now an assistant coach at Syracuse. She followed Syracuse’s new volleyball head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam from Temple where she was also part of his staff.

    Who were the best players on the left side during the scrimmage? Based on what you saw at the scrimmage, do we have a problem there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vazquez Gomez really improved- I liked her a lot. Dalton looked real good too. Flood has improved, but I think she is a little behind the others. Ennis did not make a big impression on me good or bad.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Good point. She did better setting than Coach Akeo did. Timing and chemistry is so important and it was apparent that the players weren’t used to the coach’s sets.

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  6. Thank you Annie!

    A few notes on the FrankCan outing:

    We have four foursomes, so there is room for one more.

    Golfers should arrive around 1 pm, earlier if you would like to have lunch (cash).

    For your GPS, Willowbrook CC 181 Grossheim Rd. Apollo, PA

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Annie. Your usual great work! my enthusiasm for volleyball is almost equal to that of football. Maybe we can finish #1 in both!

    Hope I can “hold serve” with my upcoming basketball article!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Annie – Thank you. Another great writeup.

    You and John make a formidable pair when discussing Pitt women’s volleyball.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. With both of my kids at Pitt (as of yesterday – move in complete) I definitely plan to get to a Pitt VB game this year. Hopefully more than one! Great work Annie!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I’ve never seen Vuk and Tex in the same room…🤔

    Reed, I’ll be there Friday with Scooter at one of the non-media tables near a bar.

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  11. They ain’t the same. Tex enjoys bourbon and Vuk likes maker’s mark so….uhhh ohhh, wait a second here……….

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  12. Thank you for the great write-up, Annie! Sorry that you didn’t get to talk to Valeria. I sense from watching her interact with her teammates that she probably has an entertaining personality. But with the way you follow the team, I expect you will get that chance sooner or later. See you on the 1st!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Annie, a most excellent synopsis and scouting report. Very well done and thank you for investing your time and energy with the POV. This is no joke. I spoke to a retired D1 VB Coach who played at Maryland last week. She was awesome. All 6’4″ of her. Anyway, she expects big things from Pitt this year after the first quarter of the schedule. I told he that I know little about the daily Pitt VB life and all she told me throughout our conversation was to enjoy Coach Fisher for as long as you can keep him. Interestingly, she went on to say that the SEC and Big10 will start paying their coaches much higher salaries because of the media rights deal. Folks, it just isn’t about football and basketball. The downstream sports are going to win as well. Good for Pitt that we have a year or two left of very good volleyball before disruption occurs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its fascinating to watch ESPN get pushed to the kids table in CFB.
      Thought they may have cut too much muscle a few years back when a lot of the good on-air talent was sent packing, while the guys who made The Worldwide Leader started to retire.

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      1. Oops – hit “post” accidentally.

        The shows they have added are meh as well.

        Kinda resembles the transformation of MTV from a music video channel to I don’t know what to call it now.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. First, a question. Is Lek related to ike or iek? Just wondering…

    Secondly, I love it when Pitt teams find a way to engage with the fans. Much fun to talk with the players and coaches. Good job by Coach Fisher and the VB team…. Really helps create a bond.

    And super reporting by Annie and John. Such detail and knowledge…. Hats off.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Annie – we’ll done! Fischer has done an outstanding job. Money WILL come his way, but that doesn’t always sway a person to leave. Legacies matter to some.

    OT – From Vukovcan at PSN – one of his two Pitt football predictions for 2022:

    “Despite having already thrown for over 7,000 yards and 58 touchdown passes, Kedon Slovis is being viewed as a question mark. Why do I think if the situation was reversed and Slovis was transferring from Pitt to say USC or Ohio State or Georgia, he’d already be viewed as a Heisman candidate?

    You know that’s true.

    Here’s a spoiler alert, Slovis will be more than fine, and the quarterback position won’t be an issue for Pitt in 2022.”

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  16. Annie (and John), your Pitt VB reporting has been so good that I wouldn’t be surprised if the ACC Network tries to track you down when they are looking for a local media person well-versed in Panther VB when doing a segment on the team this year. I don’t think any of the local rags has covered the team as well. Kudos!

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Very well written article, Annie. You could make curling exciting. Now I have to watch televised games so I can keep up with the blog news.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Excellent of work Annie !!! Many thanks to all who have contributed their time to put their thoughts on paper for our reading enjoyment. That said, I think volleyball is one of the most entertaining sports to watch and JeanieB and myself will sit down and watch the tube sitting on the edge of or seats…so many tense, nail-biting moments during a match. Wer need to parlay a home FB game into a 2nd night at Fitz watching the PITT ladies WUP butt and take numbers

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks for a great article, Annie!!

    I learn a lot each time I read your VB posts. Will be paying much more attention to VB this year due to the great reporting from you and John. May have to get in on Bernie’s parlay.

    Look fwd to seeing you and Kurt at Red5A!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow, we are 9 days away from opening day! What is everyone thinking? I’m confident we are better than the hillbillies, but I am not confident we will win the game, as they are in the ‘nothing to lose’ mode. So many variables this year, but none more impactful than the change at QB, followed closely by the change in OC, in my opinion.

    H2P

    Liked by 1 person

  21. WIll be interesting to hear who gives the pre-game talk to the team before the WVU game. My choices would be either Wannstedt or Pat Bostick.

    Like

  22. Pitt VB has a couple home games on home football weekends. The Tennesse game and Rhode Island football games are bookended by VB games. VB has 2 games the day before Tennessee and 1 Sat. night right after the game. For the Rhode Island football game, Pitt plays ACC foes NC Friday night and NCST Sunday afternoon.
    Thanksgiving eve Pitt plays Georgia Tech ( 1 of their few losses last year) and the Saturday after they play BC. So there are several opportunities to catch them in action if you are in the area for another event.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Annie: Will you be at the North Carolina volleyball game? Maybe we could get a group of POVers together either before or after the game? Going to the Rhode Island game the next day which better be in the afternoon.

      Like

  23. Need 8 tickets for WVU game. Budget is $2700. Need 4 and 4 or 8 together or same section. Thanks.

    Have 6 together up high for $900 willing to sell.

    Like

  24. The ACC finally issued the ACC volleyball coaches preseason selections for predicted order of finish. The top three were Louisville, Pitt, and Georgia Tech. Three Panthers made the Preseason All-ACC team: Serena Gray, Rachel Fairbanks, and graduate transfer Courtney Buzzerio. Louisville had four members on the 18-member team. Georgia Tech and North Carolina had three players each as well on the team.

    The ACC was the last conference of the P5 to issue their press release on volleyball over a week later than the other conferences. The ACC issued volleyball along with the preseason field hockey preseason press release. If it were possible, I would prefer Pitt move its volleyball program over to the Big Ten. The ACC treats women’s volleyball at the same level as field hockey!! Give me a freaking break!

    Like

  25. The Panther Club Celebrates Unprecedented Fundraising Success
    The Panther Club recorded its highest fundraising and donor total in Pitt history during the 2021-22 fiscal year that concluded on June 30. The past year saw 12,643 donors contribute more than $40.4 million. Both of those amounts are Pitt Athletics records and exceed the previous highs by 1,418 donors and more than $20 million in total fundraising. A combination of unprecedented major gifts commitments, increased annual giving participation, and the success of Pitt Athletics programs resulted in these fundraising totals that will be felt for years to come.

    “This past year was momentous for Pitt Athletics in so many ways. Championship trophies were raised, diplomas were earned and dreams became a reality for so many of the young men and women who proudly wear our Blue and Gold,” said Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “The historic generosity of our donors gives us another remarkable achievement to celebrate. Their support was crucial to the successes of this past year and will be even more vital as we continue to aspire higher into our future. On behalf of our nearly 700 student-athletes, band and spirit squad members, I want to thank our Pitt supporters for their extraordinary generosity. Working together, the best is truly yet to come for our Panthers.”

    This past year saw philanthropic leaders of the Pitt community make significant contributions that helped drive Pitt Athletics’ fundraising success. Pitt Athletics gained 33 new members of The Script Society through donors committing to pledges of $50,000 or more throughout the past year. Notable amongst these commitments, in September, the football program received a $20 million commitment from 1997 alum Chris Bickell, the largest single donation in Pitt Athletics history. In recognition of the historic gift, the head football coaching position at Pitt is named the “Chris Bickell ’97 Head Football Coach.” The gift will help fund significant capital improvements that will benefit the total Pitt football student-athlete experience, both now and into the future.

    The Petersen Events Center lobby also received a name change in March following a $5 million gift from the family of Tom and Mary Beth Richards. The gift to the men’s basketball program will help lead expansion and renovation efforts to practice, training and sports performance facilities at the Petersen Events Center. In honor of their commitment, the lobby at the Petersen Events Center is now named the Thomas E. Richards Family Lobby.

    The annual donor base also increased significantly and contributed to the fundraising success of the Panther Club. The increased donations to the Student-Athlete Success Fund has allowed for Pitt to provide more resources for all of our student-athletes through mental health services, improved strength and conditioning equipment, the hiring of a full-time sports science director, academic services and resources, and scholarship support. Continued support of the Student-Athlete Success Fund will allow Pitt Athletics to continue to invest in these vital resources for our student-athletes and allow all 850 student-athletes to have a world class experience during their time at the University of Pittsburgh.

    “The power of the Pitt family was truly inspirational last year,” said Lee Roberts, Executive Associate Athletic Director of Philanthropy and Engagement. “The record-setting investment from our Panther Club members is transforming the experience for each of our student-athletes. We are so grateful for your support and can’t wait to see our members raise the bar again this year.”

    Donations to the Panther Club help provide all of our 850 student-athletes with the resources they need to excel during their time at Pitt. Support of the Panther Club comes from donations to the Student-Athlete Success Fund, Scholarship Seating support, philanthropic gifts to our Championship Funds, and support of capital projects. To learn more about joining the Panther Club or to make a gift today, visit hailtopitt.com

    Liked by 1 person

  26. shouldn’t the highest donor amount be removed first before doling out any positive information/analysis?

    🙂

    won’t happen next year I’m sure, lucky the stars aligned this year, right Tex(and others!)?

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  27. Nothing happens in a vacuum. What have other schools done. If Pitt beats the drum, let’s compare to others instead of just in isolation. That’s proper journalistic integrity.

    And with all this money spent is it good chasing the bad. Do recall Pitt still just finished one point above BC in the Cup. And placed 61 out of 65 P5 schools.

    But many here would love to rewrite history. Probably never took a history class at Pitt for that matter. Pure propagandists.

    Like

  28. I just finished watching a highlight compilation of our new starting quarterback. Until now, I had not watched any film of him. My observations: This is a highlight film and not a lowlight film, so I will temper my enthusiasm. He had really great receivers that made a ton of plays for him…BUT, BUT, BUT…those passes were only where his guys could make a play, and they did. While it would have been nice if Addison had stayed to make those catches, we all think the group of guys we still have are capable of doing some great things as well. If Slovis can make those throws, and our receivers can make those plays, Addison will not be missed.
    Additionally, I liked his pocket presence and movement within it. We all know that Tom Brady has limited mobility, but his movement/awareness in the pocket is elite (as is his ability to tuck the football…sarcasm alert!)

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  29. And I’m very sure that a good chunk of the fundraising went to pay for hvac at Fitzgerald. That’s a good thing because the acc was worried about being sued by a non conference school who played on that court. The condensation issues were a huge liability. Doesn’t look like Pitt will have modern digs until 2024 at the earliest. I know a thing or two regarding construction. Covid, supply chain issues, typical cost over runs and inflation will nearly double what Pitt thought it would cost. And remember they only raised roughly five percent for it. It’s all debt financing in a economic riskier and much higher interest rate environment. Pitts CFO is a dolt.

    Like

    1. All depends on how good Pitt’s contract is with the developer/construction companies. If they did the contract correctly, the cost over runs should be limited and have a predetermined max. This would limit the huge impact of inflationary material costs. I hope Pitt has good lawyers.
      No one cares about athletic success top to bottom. Have a good football and mens basketball team period. That gets you national recognition, more donor money and more fans.

      Like

  30. I have my concerns about Slovis but I have more concerns about Patti. Cignetti made the correct choices based on experience, stats and arm.
    Nice to have a competent backup. That is rare in college football.

    Like

  31. ​​ ​

    ​​​​​​​​​​

    ​View release ​online

    August 24, 2022​

    Pitt’s Slovis Named to Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s Kedon Slovis has been named to the preseason watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, annually presented to the nation’s top senior/upperclassman quarterback.

    Slovis, named the Panthers’ starter for their September 1 season opener against West Virginia, enters his first season at Pitt. He played the prior three seasons at USC, where he passed for 7,576 yards and 58 touchdowns in 27 games.

    Slovis will try to become the second consecutive Pitt quarterback to win the Unitas Golden Arm Award. Kenny Pickett was the 2021 recipient after throwing for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns, while leading the Panthers to an 11-2 record and the ACC championship.

    Now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pickett became the first Pitt quarterback taken in the initial round of the NFL Draft since Dan Marino in 1983.

    The Unitas Golden Arm Award semifinalists, finalists and award recipient are selected by the distinguished Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers and former players. Candidates are chosen based on their performance both on and off the field.

    The 2022 Unitas Golden Arm Award recipient will be honored at the Golden Arm Award banquet and celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Md., on December 7.

    The September 1 renewal of the “Backyard Brawl” between Pitt and West Virginia will be played before an overflowing crowd at Acrisure Stadium and national ESPN Thursday night television audience. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

    ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot—featuring host Rece Davis and analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack—will present an exclusive one-hour live edition from inside Acrisure Stadium beginning at 6 p.m.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Driving home from work, and Pat Narduzzi was on ESPN U Radio with Rick Neuhisel and Jacob Hester. As fate would have it, Rick Neuhisel was paired with Narduzzi at a golf scramble when the call came to PN from Jordan Addison saying that he was planning to enter the transfer portal. Neuhisel went out of his way complimenting PN on how classy he was in talking with Jordan, his agent, his family, and the Pitt AD. I don’t think Neuhisel was just blowing smoke. I find myself increasingly happy with our FB coach and think the future looks bright. H2P!

    Liked by 3 people

  33. I made a donation to the Backyard Brawl fundraising challenge.

    (Speaking of history, anyone at all interested in the Civil War should be sure to read the historical novel “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara. )

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  34. John, I remember watching the movie in the late 90s…
    Always fascinated by the Battle of Gettysburg.
    Book is available on Amazon for as little as $6…will snag one.

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  35. Trouble in “paradise”

    Cassius McNeilly has left the Pitt BB Program. No reason given. He would have been Pitt’s best shooting guard. He was a 4 star top 150 player who started with Tex AM
    and played for 2 other programs.
    He might have found out he actually has to go to class at Pitt!

    Like

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