Pitt Volleyball knocks out 7th BYU in Top Ten battle

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No. 10 Pitt defeated No. 7 BYU, 3-1, in an incredible top-10 game on Saturday night at the BYU Nike Invitational at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah.

The Panthers (5-1) win their fifth straight game, which includes wins over Cincinnati and Utah State on Friday. The victory makes it the second consecutive season with a victory over the Cougars (5-1) for the Panthers and also their first win over a top-ten ranked team since No. 9 Baylor last September.

Pitt managed to pull away from BYU early in the first set after trading points on the first 10 serves. They went on an 8-2 run and kept BYU from making a comeback, winning the first set 25-19.

The Panthers and Cougars fought hard in the second set, going back and forth throughout. With the game tied at 22, a team had to make a move to win the set. The Panthers did just that, with right side graduate hitter Courtney Buzzerio making two kills and second Julianna Dalton getting one to end the second set, 25-22.

BYU fought back in the third set to keep the game alive. After tying the game at 12, BYU took a 9-3 run to take a 21-15 lead, then later won the set 25-19.

The Panthers took the fourth set quite comfortably, taking an 11-6 lead after tying the Cougars at 5 points apiece. The Cougars tried to save the set, but the Panthers only allowed them to come within three and then won the set, 25-21 and the match as well.

Second-year outside hitter Rachel Fairbanks played another fantastic game for Pitt. She led her team with 30 digs and finished second with 16 digs, making it her fifth game of the season with a double-double.

Redshirt junior hitter Valeria Vasquez Gomez was also impressive for Pitt. She matched her career-high 16 kills to lead the team and also finished first with a .400 hit percentage and .457 kill percentage.

Senior Librero/Defensive Specialist Ashley Browse led the Panthers with 17 digs and graduate outside hitter Cam Ennis was second with 23 assists.

Pitt returns home to Fitzgerald Field House next weekend, starting with American at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 9.

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