Elite Eight for WVB!! On to Wisconsin…

Our Pitt Panthers women’s volleyball team are in their third straight Elite Eight match in a row.  Their opponent for the match is the reigning National Champion Wisconsin Badgers.  The match will take place at 8:00 PM EST Saturday December 10th in the very loud Wisconsin Field.

Before we get too far along, a disclaimer is in order.  As you would know if you read my last article, I thought we would lose the Florida match if Dalton did not play.  If fact, I was worried we would get swept.  As that did not happen, you may want to take my analysis of the upcoming Wisconsin match “with a grain of salt.”

Let’s recap the match against Florida:

  The write-up of the match at the Pitt women’s volleyball site is here.  No. 2 Pitt is Elite Again!! – Pitt Panthers #H2P (pittsburghpanthers.com)

In the Florida match if one just looks at the statistics, Pitt should have lost.  Florida out hit Pitt in kills 59-56 and in hitting percentage 0.304 to 0.224.  We had less points 72-67, less assists 58-52, less blocks 10-7, and less digs 55-59.  Pitt did lead in one critical stat that helped us win the first set.  That stat was service errors.  Florida had 11 in total to Pitt’s two.  Five of those Florida’s errors occurred in the first set which Pitt won by five points.  Pitt also led in service aces 4-3.

So how did Pitt win with those numbers?  Volleyball is different than almost all team sports.  Unlike football, basketball, hockey, soccer, baseball, etc.  a team can have a horrible showing in one set and not effect the overall outcome of the entire match.  A team can hit a negative percentage for the entire match, and get outscored 109 to 65 so long as the horrible part is in only the two sets that they lose, and still win the match. 

That is what happened in the Florida match but in four sets instead of five.

Overall, for the match against Florida, Pitt had 21 hitting errors.  Ten of those errors occurred in the horrible third set.  If the third set is taken out of the hitting percentage, Pitt out hit the Gators 0.293 to 0.254.

Courtney Buzzerio again was Pitt’s main star for the match.  She accounted for 22.5 points with 13 kills, five block assists, and one service ace.  She also was tied with Rachel Fairbanks for the team lead in digs with eight.  Serena Gray was our next highest scorer with 11.5 points with nine kills and five block assists.  Gray also had six digs!  Vazquez Gomez and Chiamaka Nwokolo each had nine points. 

With Julianna Dalton not playing, Pitt needs to make up the 2.67 pts./set that she provided.  Her replacement Cam Ennis helped a little more this match than previous matches with 6.5 points or 1.63 pts/set.

So let us move on to the Wisconsin match.  If you watched the Penn State versus Wisconsin match you would know Pitt is going to be a big underdog in the match.  Wisconsin lives by their block.  They out blocked Penn State 23-9 in their five-set match.

Continue reading “Elite Eight for WVB!! On to Wisconsin…”

Kancey, Kancey, Kancey…

​​​​​​​December 8, 2022​

Pitt’s Calijah Kancey Named First Team Walter Camp All-American

PITTSBURGH—Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey’s stature as one of the nation’s elite players was reasserted this evening when he was named a first team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Unveiled during ESPN’s live telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards, the 2022 Walter Camp All-America Team was selected by the nation’s 131 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coaches and sports information directors. It is college football’s oldest All-America squad, dating back to 1889.

Kancey is the third Pitt defensive player in the past three seasons to be named a first team Walter Camp All-American, joining 2020 honoree’s Patrick Jones II and Rashad Weaver.

The Walter Camp recognition is the latest prestigious honor for Kancey, who previously was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-American by CBS Sports and Pro Football Focus. The 6-foot, 280-pound junior additionally earned College Football Network’s National Defensive Tackle of the Year award.

Kancey (Miami, Fla./Miami Northwestern) has been one of college football’s most dominant players regardless of position. He compiled 31 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 11 games played.

Despite facing an array of blocking schemes designed to slow him down, Kancey averaged 1.32 tackles for loss per game to rank 16th nationally and first among the nation’s interior defenders.

He spearheaded a Pitt defense that leads the country in sacks (3.75 avg.), ranks seventh nationally against the run (95.5 avg.) and ranks 19th in fewest total yards allowed (319.7 avg.).

The Walter Camp All-America squad is one of five used in the NCAA’s selection of an annual college football consensus All-America team. The other selectors, which will release their teams in the coming days, are Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Sporting News.


Walter Camp All-American (first team)

CBS Sports All-American (first team)

Pro Football Focus All-American (first team)

College Football Network National Defensive Tackle of the Year

ACC Defensive Player of the Year

First Team All-ACC

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist (National Defensive Player of the Year)

Outland Trophy Finalist (Nation’s Best Interior Lineman)