University Heights, Oh. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's volleyball team lost two games against difficult Ohio Athletic Conference competition at a tri-match held at John Carroll University. They opened play with a 3-1 loss against Capital University and followed that with a 3-0 loss to the hosts, John Carroll.
In the Capital match, the Panthers struggled offensively in the first game as they were only able to muster 8 kills and a .138 hitting percentage on the way to a 25-19 loss. Pitt-Bradford quickly responded in the second set, as they were able to win 25-18. They nearly doubled their hitting percentage, finishing the game with a .265 percentage. The Panthers used a strong start to build an early lead which the Crusaders were never able to overcome. Behind strong service from Tabitha Walker and Riley Anderson, Pitt-Bradford scored 6 of the first 7 points of the game. They maintained the lead throught the majority of the set, seeing it grow as high as 8 points and shrink to only two. After Capital cut their lead to 2, the Panthers went on a second 6-1 run to finish the set 25-18.
The teams played a hotly contested 3rd set, that saw the lead change 8 times and finish beyond the required 25 points. They battled back and forth through the majority of the set, until the Panthers scored 5 straight points to take a 20-16 lead. Pitt-Bradford was able to keep a three point lead to reach set point, but allowed a 5-0 run to close out the set and lose 24-26. The long set seemed to effect the Panthers in the following set as their hitting percentage dropped back down to .121 for the 4th, while their opponents pushed theirs to .323. The Crusaders used this advantage to close out the match with a 25-17 victory
Emily Cleveland racked up 15 kills in the match, while compiling a .312 hitting percentage and collecting 3 service aces. Tabitha walker recorded 21 assists and 15 digs in the match, both team highs for the match.
Pitt-Bradford followed this loss with a tough 3 set loss to the hosts, John Carroll. The Panthers lost the first set by a large margin (25-11), but kept the other two sets close, losing 25-23 and 27-25. Along with battling the Blue Streaks deeper into each successive set, the Panthers were able to continuously increase their hitting percentage, moving from -.036 in set one to .179 in set two and finally .240 in the final set.
Pitt-Bradford used a balanced attack that saw Riley Anderson finish the match with the most kills, 7. Alexandra Segura put in an extremely efficient effort in the 3rd set of the match, as she recorded 6 kills on only 8 swings. Walker added another 19 assists and 12 digs in the match and libero Laura Hildebrand collected 17 digs.
The losses move the panthers record to 11-11 on the season with a 3-1 record in AMCC play. The will return to conference play in their midweek matchup, when they host Medaille on Wednesday. The game will begin at 7:00 PM in the KOA Arena