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.

Before we get into what Pitt needs to do to defeat this enormously tall Badger team, let us get some back ground on them.  Wisconsin is 28-3.  They are the reigning National Champions and are the Big Ten Champion for the fourth consecutive year.  Their three losses were to Baylor in Texas, to Florida at home, and to Minnesota in Minnesota.  Their last lost was in late September.  They were selected as on of the top four seed of the tournament.

Common opponents that Pitt and Wisconsin played are Florida and High Point.  Wisconsin swept High Point at home and Pitt defeated High Point 3-1 at High Point.  Wisconsin lost to Florida in five sets at home and Pitt just defeated them 3-1.

In the tournament they swept Quinnipiac in the first round as well as TCU in the second round.  In the third round they appeared to be on the verge of sweeping Penn State before the Nittany Lions came to life in the third and fourth set.  In the fifth set Wisconsin regained their dominance and won the match.

The Badgers run a 6-2 offense, the same as Pitt.  This is the first year Wisconsin is running this offense.  This is due to the fact they have two very good setters as well as two very good six rotation players.  Their two setters are #11 5’11” Sr. Izzy Ashburn and #6 6’2” Jr. MJ Hammill.  Their two six rotation players are #13 OH 6’4” R-Soph. Sarah Franklin and #22 OH 6’0” Soph. Julia Orzol. 

Both players will be on the left side on the front line.  The two true middle blockers for Wisconsin are #18 6’4” 5th year Danielle Hart and #9 6’3” Jr. Caroline Crawford.  The Badgers have two players that play RS/MB in #14 6’9” Soph. Anna Smrek and #10 6’2” Jr. Devyn Robinson.  All six of these front line players play every set.

Points per set leaders

#13 Sarah Franklin 3.94
#10 Devyn Robinson 3.18
#22 Julia Orzol 3.00
#18 Danielle Hart 2.56
#14 Anna Smrek 2.23

Kill Leaders

Franklin 385
Robinson 283
Orzol 271

Block Leaders

Hart 157
Crawford 133
Robinson 117
Smrek 109

Wisconsin’s dig leader with 391 is their libero #21 5’5” Fr. Gulce Guctekin.

The match will be between the Lilliputian Pitt lineup without Dalton versus the Goliath Wisconsin lineup.  Ennis and Vazquez Gomez on the left-side are going to be facing vastly larger opponents on their side of the net.  The same will apply for our two middles in Gray and especially in Nwokolo. 

On the right-side Buzzerio will have a height advantage over both her opponents when she is on the court.  Fairbanks will also be overmatched when she is on the right-side.  The crowd will be the largest and loudest of any that this team has faced this year.

So, I guess Pitt should just go out there and take a beating to get it over with.  That could easily happen.  Penn State though did show Wisconsin has a weakness.  It is in their serve receive game.  Penn State had 10 aces against Wisconsin to their four.  Both teams had eight errors.  Penn State also had more digs, 63-59, in a losing cause.  In the third and fourth sets, Penn State kept Wisconsin out of system.

Unless Fisher has been sandbagging with Dalton this whole time, the only way Pitt wins this match is by playing almost error-free and by serving the daylights out of the ball.  We will need a huge match by Buzzerio.  She will need to have over 25 kills for us to win. 

Gray and Nwokolo need to find some way to score in the middle against the four larger players they will face.  Pitt will also have to score with back row attacks.  The faster Pitt can attack, the better.  Our smaller Pitt players will need to be quicker than Wisconsin.

Pitt must not get frustrated with all the blocks Wisconsin will surely get in this match.  They need to just keep digging and picking themselves off the floor.  So far this tournament they have shown a lot of grit, they are going to need each ounce of it to have a chance to win this match.

Hail to Pitt!
Fight Pitt Fight!!

234 thoughts on “Elite Eight for WVB!! On to Wisconsin…

  1. John from SC has made a number of good points, as always. I think the Wisconsin match will be a tough one for sure, but I may be a little more optimistic for a couple of reasons. First, PSU played Wisconsin 3 times this year and lost all three, but two of the three went 5 sets, where anything can happen. I think Pitt is better than PSU so we should be more than competitive. Second, I think Pitt needs to return to their ultra fast offense, like the one used last year when we were somewhat undersized. If we can set our hitters before they set up their double blocks, we may be able to find room to hit successfully. Of course, “changing” our offensive speed after a full year of play at a pace designed to take advantage of our taller hitters might be problematic. However, if anyone can do it, Coach Fisher and our incredibly talented and skilled young ladies are a good bet. Win or loose, it’s been another great season, and I’m not ready to give up on another shot at Louisville.
    Let’s go Pitt!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another great Volleyball writeup.

    Tell me where on earth you will find this kind of in depth analysis.

    Thanks. Someday I might understand it all. Right now I’ll just be content to watch and enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks John for making us some of the best informed WVB fans of any major university.

    Our Volleyball team win or lose against the Badgers has had another great year. I hope to see our soccer team have a victory against the outstanding always tough Hoosiers tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just watched the end of the Michigan State win over Michigan in ice hockey. Tex would be jealous over the size of that home crowd!


  5. Pitt soccer being dominated by Indians in men’s Final Four 1-nil.

    Pitt with no shots…15 minutes into the game.


  6. Thanks for the article, John. The phrase “enormously tall Badgers” caught my eye. I’m thinking of a new sci-fi thriller…. 😊

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Pitt gave up a soft goal with less than a minute to go in the first half. Could be a fatal mistake..


  8. Yeah, the game seemed over after the first goal, which was a penalty kick that our goaltender blocked, but the Pitt defenders stood and watched the Indiana kicker hustle to the deflected ball and dink it in for the score.

    The team seemed deflated and we barely had any offensive pressure the rest of the first half. The 2nd goal with 17 seconds left before halftime was given up by a team that had lost its focus.

    Indiana came into the match with a 270 minute stretch of not giving up a goal – we easily added to that total last night.

    Next year is “probably” a rebuilding year as there are many players with no more eligibility that were key contributors. The 3 stars could come back if the professional option is not pay worthy.


  9. Even though the best team usually wins, and in this case they did, the thing I don’t like about soccer is that a team can dominate play but still get beat by a lucky goal. (Not the case last night)

    I watched many high school and a few college games that my daughter played in and never got hooked as a fan, except watching her teams.

    I know enough to appreciate the highly skilled team that Pitt has, but Indiana is just that much better. Rarely do you see the penalties being that one sided. That is how good Indiana plays. Getting to the semi finals in the NCAA is quite an accomplishment.



    1. GC – I had the same opinion when my son played. I do follow Pitt soccer and enjoy the talented teams we currently field.

      Outside of Pitt soccer, I’m not much of a fan of the sport.

      Unfortunately the American student athletes beat the foreign team last night, pretty convincingly.


  10. From Sports Illustrated:

    PITTSBURGH — The lease on Acrisure Stadium, home to Pitt Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers football is up in seven years. The Steelers have yet to renew their agreement with the Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority, leaving the Panthers’ long-term future at that venue in jeopardy.

    But Acrisure Stadium’s two tenants are not close to an extension on their current agreement, which runs through February 2031. In fact, they haven’t even begun to address what will happen when the lease is up, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke said at a press conference with local media this week.

    “We have not had any specific conversations,” Lyke said. “And I’m not going to talk about football stadium issues.”

    Pitt and the Steelers rent the stadium through a joint operation called the PSSI Stadium Corporation and agreed to pay a total of $75 million dollars to the Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority in three equal payments when they signed the lease in 2001. The Steelers can choose to extend the existing lease in up to four five-year increments.

    Steelers president Art Rooney II said last summer that he hoped to engage in talks to renew the lease in later down the road.

    “We’d love to and we assume we will extend the lease at some point,” Rooney said. “We haven’t quite gotten to that point yet. … At some point, we’ll get into those discussions down the road. … I certainly hope that we’re here for longer than that.”


    1. The Steelers will leverage the Authority to make major improvements to the stadium before they sign a new agreement.


  11. The Steelers will renew the lease//GUARANTEED. Pitt might not be playing high level P5 football by 2031 depending on how the conferences are realigned. Pitt needs the annual ACC
    financial “donation” in order to maintain the athletic programs and the way things are going I would not bet on Pitt keeping a competitive athletic profile (YES>> NEGATIVE THINKING BECAUSE THE ACC WILL BE TOAST AND PITT WILL NOT BE INVITED TO JOIN A SUPER CONFERENCE).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Easy there Isnore, there will still be plenty of good football outside the so-called super league, which may never happen. Plenty of guys like me that only watch my team play and really could care less about the rest. Pitt doesn’t belong and could not compete in a superleague anyway. Face it Pitt would not be competitive in the SEC or B1G. Same with many other schools, even ones in those conferences that will be left for Pitt to play.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you, but it comes down to $$$. Pitt will be playing in whatever conference is dedicated to second-level sports and the TV money will not be flowing to support a conference of Temple, Syracuse, BC, Louisville, Memphis, etc. So, sports like lacrosse, swimming, track will be hard-pressed to find funding and that is a simple fact. The best hope for Pitt sports will be basketball because it is obviously much lower in cost than football….back to some form maybe of The Big East. I do not have to see Pitt playing BIG TIME football to enjoy the games. I have posted many times that I have a master’s degree from Penn and yes, although at a much lower level IVY football can be fun to watch!!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Sometimes your just get beat by a better team. Congrats to Pitt Soccer for a terrific season!

    We may be saying the same about Volleyball later tonight!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Indiana looked better than Pitt last night but the goal seconds before halftime changed everything as to how the 2nd half could be played by Indiana

    had that not gotten through it would’ve kept me engaged

    for me that is the beauty of soccer in that 1 goal is so meaningful, but once the 2nd one happened, comeback was sooo unlikely

    can’t say I was ever a soccer fan because I’ve never watched many games(possibly any) where I didn’t have a rooting interest, such as for the US men or Pitt now recently, US women I watched but different after their “statements” several years back

    I was pleased when Will played soccer more like football the year or 2 we had him play as both his physicality and probably lack of speed and coordination made him a wrecker on the soccer field, the only enjoyable parts was having him get carded and breaking up the scrums at times like a bowling ball in 10 pin 🙂

    football, wrestling and lax were a far better fit

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Just looked up a bit on Sacred Heart which was a girls high school when I grew up.
    Anyway the University is in Connecticut and they play their games in the William Pitt Convocation Center, strange huh? They also have the Jack Welch Business School so that is something. Fairfield Conn. is a very high end neighborhood.
    Should be interesting at the Pete with the recent uptick in play and the buzz arounf DJ.


    1. This game should be no more than a scrimmage against a team in a very weak league (Fairleigh-Dickenson) with NO HEIGHT> We should outrebound them by a ton and if we avoid our famous turnover disease a 20 point margin should be easy pickens.


      1. Yeah, I’m hoping to see a lot of the twins and some other bench guys.
        Federico ought to work on his rebounding skills.
        Also hoping they rest Hugley or at least play him very sparingly.
        Definitely work on guarding the 3 point shots.
        Should be a quiet Pete with students writing papers and studying for tests.


  15. Thanks to the POV I’m a Pitt volleyball fan. I went to the tourny in Columbus last year and Nationwide Arena was packed for every game. Before that I only saw beach volley ball which has a totally different appeal, if you get my drift. H2P!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks Rich, I’ll watch every second especially because I’ve had Covid since last Sunday and just retested positive today so I have nothing but time to kill. 2nd time around and even though I feel pretty well still not going out except to feed my daughter’s cates (she’s in NYC having fun damn her!)

        I am sleeping about 12 hours a day though…


  16. Louisville fights off the Oregon Ducks in the Regional Finals to earn a trip to Final Four semifinals in Omaha!


      1. It sure did! They rallied from a set down and also battled through a match point in the fourth set. It will be interesting to see if Anna DeBeer was playing on adrenaline at the end of the match. She tweaked her injured leg one of the last sets.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Whisky doing National Champion things. Dalton was put in at the end, so Fisher was desperate there.

    Pitt needs to forget about that set. It only counts as one set. Time to hit the reset button with Dalton.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. We are now down to a three-set match! Wisconsin now knows they are in a dog fight.

    Panthers versus Badgers! Two ferocious beasts!

    Fight Pitt Fight.


  19. really outside that first set breakdown, Pitt should be UP 2 SETS

    not making me feel good though

    this 3rd is HUGE…

    …for my heart 🙂


  20. To echo Dan’s comments above, this is WAAAAAY more stressful than a football or basketball game. You’re on the edge of the seat for EVERY POINT! Our ladies are giving an amazing effort tonight. Wisky has some amazing outside hitters and their blockers at the net are by far the best we’ve seen all season.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Pitt giving everything they got!

    Does anyone else think if we go to 5 sets, we can wear those enormous Badgers down!


  22. this is the first game we really aren’t outplaying them

    need a block or 2

    Pitt defense has been spectacular!


  23. Really, really dislike the play by play announcer. Not a volleyball knowledgeable person. He reads what they tell him to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wisconsin fans are stunned as Pitt is up 2-1!!!

    Keep fighting Pitt! They could have collapsed after that first set but they regrouped!


  25. We beat the SEC champs! Then we beat the Big 10 champs. Now the ACC co-champs stand in our way!


        1. Very unlike them but part of their plan. When you serve as tough as possible you’re going to have some mistakes but when you succeed, it lifts the entire squad.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. yes, and I thought it was good only having 4 v UW having 9

            we had 1 or 2 crawl over the net 🙂 , they had a couple SE at critical points

            Liked by 1 person

  26. By the way, Pitt beat a really, really good team tonight! Our side did not do any “Pitting” in the match, Wisconsin just was that good!

    Liked by 3 people

  27. as great as this was, I think both Buzz and definitely VVG didn’t have their best games

    but Serena Gray and Nwokolo did play what I think was about their best, especially Serena

    overall the team’s digging and scrambling backing up tips and keeping plays alive was outstanding, the best I’ve seen with quickness and intensity the entire match

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Badger’s priority was Courtney Buzzerio the whole match. The middles were cheating to her side no matter where she was. Fisher had her on the left side for one serve and they moved their middle to that side as soon as the ball was in play.

      But you are correct about our middles, they won the match for us! Serena and Chiamka both played great!

      Liked by 2 people

  28. John: We were great 95 percent of the match. But there was a 10 point stretch where we looked like a high school team. We couldn’t get a decent set to any of our outside hitters. We went from being up 7-2 to being tied. Wisky had some nice kills on there, but we handed them 4 or 5 points.


    1. If you recall, it was even worse in the first set where we were up and let Wisconsin win the set. Penn State came back in their match and won sets three and four. PSU had all the momentum going into the last set and Wisconsin just destroyed them in the fifth set.

      Pitt could have easily folded after the first set collapse or the fifth set when Wisconsin tied. They did not! That says a lot about the character and coaching of this team!

      Liked by 5 people

  29. If you look at the statistics of the match, it appears we lost it. Wisconsin still probably trying to figure out we won!


  30. Remember that Big 10 bias in the polls? Like Ohio State having 5 losses, including a sweep by Pitt, and still being ranked higher than Pitt? Well there are no Big 10 teams in the Final Four.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. I wasn’t sure we would be able to pull out a win in Wisky country. I figured the girls would have to play flawlessly to be competitive. Heck, I was hoping we wouldn’t have a total collapse and get swept. This team showed everyone they have heart. #2 San Diego beat #1 Stanford tonight also, so we’re not the only #2 seed at the Final 4. I’m happy that no matter what happens the ACC will have a team in the ‘Natty, and the BIG joke will not! H2P, great game ladies! Let’s keep rolling 1 more week!

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Also, although John loves Juliana Dalton, Cam Ennis is a better defender ( not blocker) and moves better when a scramble for a ball is needed. According to the announcer, Pitt broke an NCAA record for digs in a game tonight. What an accomplishment! Our back row defense has been much improved with Emmy Klicka playing lights out.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Annie,

    I had to pick up a relative and drive them to my home. It was a long drive and I just got home safely and went online to see how our Ladies did. And I see Annie is awake and posting at 1:13 and 1:17 am and posting the results I wanted to hear.

    I hope to someday meet you Annie. The honor will be mine.

    Good night and Hail to PItt!

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Late night, but a great night for Pitt VB. It felt like we beat Alabama in FB last night. The lady Panthers have knocked off the SEC champs and the B1G Joke chumps. Next up the co-Champs of the ACC – shall we crown the winner the ACC champion?

    OT: the ACC had six starting QB’s enter the transfer portal at season’s end. Two were related to Pitt.

    Slovis and Jurkovic
    DJ Uiagalelei
    Devin Leary
    Jeff Sims
    Brennan Armstrong

    If Patti and Yarnell enter the portal, does that qualify as eight ACC starters and four from Pitt? – Patti started at least 2 games that I know of (not this season) and of course Yarnell started the W.Michigan game.


    1. By the way, HC Fisher seemed to have a solid plan to win, called time outs at the right moments, challenges were won more than lost and he made the right adjustments throughout the match.

      Heather needs to have a solid plan to keep Fisher at Pitt – UCLA probably already made an offer to Fisher for their vacant HC-ing position.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. If Coach Fisher wants to go back to California, I do not think there is much Heather can do. UCLA will probably offer more money and more importantly, housing. I am not too worried about him going to Minnesota.


          1. Yes, I agree. The upcoming move will mean a lot more travel. Nearest school other than USC will be Nebraska! They have to go all the way across country to play Rutgers!


  35. This was like when the Pirates beat the Yankees in 1960. Their big hitters blasting away and our girls fighting for every point. To do it in front of their raucous fans made it even more sweet. Talk about never quitting. Momentum is huge in the final set we had it, then lost it, then go it back just in time. Those chip/cut shots over our line were particularly frustrating and super well done by Wisky in their comeback.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. referring to Annie’s post above at 1:13(why not be up at that hour after that excitement):
    hers are the words that I needed when I tried to describe about how Pitt looked different last night from every other game I’ve watched this year

    serving was great, scrambling and digging was like never before, the back row defense was all that except VVG seemed a bit weaker there while also not quite her usual self with attack/kill hits

    I believe Wiscy served to VVG at just about every chance they could and maybe that’s what made her game in back stand out more to me, maybe her stats weren’t different than her usual play throughout the year(?)

    John explained the Buzz defense so it allowed or required the middles to step up which is exactly what Gray and Nwokolo did consistently along with serving virtually flawlessly(Gray had a big ace late)

    all that and as EE states, Coach Fisher both his in game work(time outs and challenges) and pre-game preparation was a thing of beauty

    no friggin way that one challenge in the 5th was a touch on the views WE saw, NO WAY and it cost him what I thought might tip the match even though we were up 6-2 instead of 7-1

    VB is SUCH a game of momentum and yet our lady Panthers DID NOT FLINCH, DID NOT EVEN BLINK and I believe that’s a huge credit to of course THEM but also Coach Fisher

    can ‘t wait for next week and while anything might happen, I really believe anything might happen – this team isn’t the team that played in Yum v Louisville a couple weeks ago

    and as to next week, I watched all the games yesterday and frankly was impressed by Oregon making Louisville look vulnerable and honestly SD and Stanford didn’t look as great as I thought they might be

    I thought Wiscy and Texas were the best teams on the courts other than Pitt and really by a fair margin

    ^^^that thought added to this thought I’m holding onto(despite John’s suggestion 🙂 ) that Pitt really should have crushed Wiscy in the first set therefore leading into a sweep for Pitt means the NC should have Pitt v Texas

    I may need some NITRO – 3-5 then 911

    Not funny but Feb 2020 2 weeks before States for Will, my dad’s down for Counties to watch and wakes us up after taking he doesn’t know how many nitros with persisting chest pain Sunday, so drive to hospital, stent Monday, out on Wednesday and of course in the stands for regionals the following Saturday, refusing to wear the masks we got for him(CV was rolling) and fortunately Will pinned all his kids that day in first or second period,,,, so dad drove back to W-B, PA for that week and back for states that next Friday/Sat – which you all know couldn’t have ended better 🙂

    GO PITT!!!

    Liked by 7 people

  37. Much was made of Wiscy’s blocking ability before the game, particularly the 6-9 girl who’s name I forget. Did you see that girl jump? There was one TV shot where it looked like she was waist high above the net! How do you defend that? But they did defend it. At least well enough to win.

    I can’t imagine 2 teams playing harder or better than we saw last night.


    Liked by 3 people

      1. Actually I was seeing a slight resemblance to Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I didn’t mention it because I didn’t want to be mean-spirited on such a big night.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. While listening to the Wisconsin radio broadcast of the match they mentioned how many times Pitt made saves that would have been sure points in other matches.

      Liked by 3 people

  38. A quick program note for anyone planning out their week. Next Thursday, December 15th, the Texas vs San Diego match will begin at 7 pm ET. Pitt vs Louisville is scheduled to start at 9:30 ET. Both matches will be broadcast on ESPN, not ESPNU.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Bowl game update: UCLA’s QB and RB were at the Bruins’ first practice and as of now it is steering toward the two playing and the team at full strength.

    On the flip side, we know Izzy and Cancey won’t be playing. Haba likely isn’t with his Senior Bowl invite. One fan is saying Dennis, Hill, Alexandre and Morgan will also sit out. If this all comes to fruition what is the point of Pitt playing in this bowl game?


  40. Courtney Buzzerio was named the Madison Regional MVP. This is the second year in a row that a Panther was named a regional MVP. Leketor Member Meneh was named last year in the Pittsburgh regional.

    Rachel Fairbanks, for the second year in a row, was named to the Regional Team. She was joined by Chiamka Nwokolo on the team.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s looking like another Sun Bowl loss is on the way… 🕵️‍♂️

      We could lose the bowl game then they take Fisher. I already hate UCLA for taking Ben Howland.


  41. Congrats to John and Annie for picking the best Pitt team to root for….and for being so knowledgeable and passionate about that team…


    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Ouch! Why quit on your team before the bowl game?

      I don’t get it if you are continuing your college career elsewhere.


      1. It is crazy. I wonder if Morgan was not happy with his playing time? Though he did seem to play a good bit.

        I remember in the spring game he really was disruptive – I thought he’d be a starter…

        Maybe they want to portal early to get as many offers and options as possible…

        Go Pitt.


    1. The match is available to view On Demand on ESPN+. If you don’t subscribe to ESPN+ streaming service, you might want to consider it. It is 9.99 per month or $100 per year. You can watch almost all Pitt sporting events live: basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, softball, baseball, …. Well worth the price if you are into Pitt sports.


      1. My son told me you can get the package with ESPN+, Disney and HULU for around 15/month if you have a need for all that.


  42. Bowl games are dumb. They don’t mean anything and will become even more dumb and pointless with the expanded playoff.

    Nobody likes to lose anything and it’s nice to have some extra football. I’ll watch but I seriously won’t care if they lose. I mean, I hope they win but a loss will have no affect on me.

    Just like last season.

    It’s an exhibition game played several weeks after the season ended with an incomplete roster and often times interim coaches. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone except folks nostalgic for a bygone era. Coaches and players with coach and play to win but it won’t be with the same vested interest as an in-season game.

    Speaking of bygone era … recruiting and recruiting rankings are dying also dying. The portal era is becoming much more important.

    Elite recruiting schools are still benefiting from recruiting … let them invest, set the foundation and train future transfers
    Recruiting is great for depth and development projects provide great second and third line depth with a smaller risk of transferring since they were never expected to be immediate impact players
    Bring in portal help for immediate starter needs and have them backed up by recruits who can develop into starters in years 3, 4, and 5.

    I, personally, love the portal era. Colleges are shady and they sell these kids out of high school on stuff that doesn’t match the reality of when they set foot on campus. After seeing what they’ve gotten themselves into, and with some understanding of how the system works, they can then make more educated choices for them. I hate when people try to use the loyalty argument with this. Loyalty to the kids doesn’t exist so expecting them to have loyalty to the school is just absurd to me.

    When reality meets expectations … those kids are not transferring.

    What hurts Pitt in recruiting is a positive with transfers. Pitt is not this big glamorous football factory school but we do put players in the NFL.

    A bigger percentage of kids then there should be think they are future NFL prospects right out of High School. Hey, dream big. I’m all for it. It’s just not reality.

    Once these kids get on campus and start competing and start to understand the reality of the situation … that’s when Pitt becomes attractive. Hey, Pitt is the only ACC team with 3 first team starters on the ALL ACC team. Hey, Pitt is only one of a few schools with two first team all Americans. Hey, Pitt has some of the most hall of famers in NFL history. Hey, Pitt has a bunch of perennial pro bowl players.

    Hey, Pitt does a good job getting you ready and putting you in position to play in the NFL regardless of where you get drafted.

    High school kids don’t see that. Portal transfers making business decisions do.

    How many schools start recruited QB’s anymore? I’d be willing to bet the portal transfers are the majority now are at least trending towards it happening very soon.

    I’d much rather get a kid out of the portal than hope you can develop a kid. Losing Minchey sucked a little but I’d take Jurk over Minchey 10/10 times if that was choice presented to me. The same would have been said for Slovis as well.

    Minchey … meet Jurk … he spurned us for ND, too … but, you can come back when you’re ready … and when we actually need you

    Liked by 7 people

    1. extremely well written article, well worth the short read

      thanks John, I, of course, have no knowledge of where to read good info on collegiate WVB

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Can Pitt ever draw a crowd like we saw last night?

    It was large, loud, and partisan.

    Bit it appeared to be a pretty cordial and friendly group. I saw Pitt fans participating in the “wave” multiple times, and dancing along with the Wiscy folks. There was even a shot of a badger fan dancing with a Pitt cheerleader. Musta been a fun time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Madison is a great college town. Rough winters so indoor entertainment is always appreciated. It helps to have a really great program.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. John and Annie, thanks for helping us non-VB knowledgeable Pitt fans get into the swing of what is probably the most “taxing on our hearts” sport. I’m not sure I took a breath the entire 5th set.

    Such a great win ladies, now make it count and get the NC!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  45. I watched just the first game again, IF you didn’t watch last night, you need to see that first game

    really remarkable play by both teams

    absolutely amazing that Pitt women beat that amazing Wiscy team

    3:10 hour match

    exhausting for the women, exhausting for us fans, not sure who needs more endurance training 🙂

    I probably should give out my Hulu login for anyone to stream it,,,, only annoying part is you need to watch the commercials, not able to FF with my cheapass account 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  46. OT – I watched bits of the women’s BB game today. The bad news – we lost to Ball State. The good news – we were able to take them to overtime!

    I’m afraid it’s time for a change. We take so many rushed, awkward shots. And our “center” is 6-feet tall. We have no chance against even just half-decent ACC teams, IMHO.

    I like the Coach – but he just hasn’t shown he can elevate this team. In 5 years he brought in only one actual center – and she transferred to Ole Miss, leaving us with a 6-footer…

    Give Dan the job!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. if you don’t have 2:40:08 to spare, it’s worth checking out the links in the comments section below the YouTube video for some amazing points

      Liked by 2 people

    1. this highlight video is definitely missing something

      should’ve included one or two of Fisher’s challenges! 🙂


      1. The entertainment value was unbelievable.

        Go Pitt!

        Golfing tomorrow in southern Jersey. High of 42 – 37 anticipated at tee time.

        The NYC skyline will be in front of us in many holes.


        Liked by 4 people

  47. PITT WRESTLING No. 20 Pitt Escapes New York with 19-18 Dual Match Win Over Columbia

    141 lbs was a scratch again – the back-up did not make weight and we forfeited giving Columbia a free 6 points.

    Too close for comfort…


    1. first the starter didn’t make weight, did they have a backup?

      then another Pitt kid was up something like 14-2 and got PINNED!!

      coaching problem?


  48. OT: Just heard on 84 XM Sirius Radio that UConn is considered a top 4 team in men’s basketball right now.

    Is Pitt a top 4 team in the city of Pittsburgh?

    I think Capel has us above RMU and Point Park. I’m not sure about Duquesne.


    1. UConn is ALL IN on basketball.

      Calhoun cheated with no repercussions, players stole laptops without consequence.

      While at Pitt you’re guilty until proven innocent.


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