FINAL: Pitt outlasts Louisville in five sets
In a back-and-forth fifth set, Pitt pulled away from Louisville to take the fifth and final set, 15-12, and win the match, 3-2.
For No. 2 Louisville (18-2, 9-1 ACC), it's their first ACC loss in 37 straight matches, going back to Oct. 23, 2020.
Courtney Buzzerio came up with the decisive kill to win the match for the No. 8 Panthers (20-2, 10-0 ACC). It's Pitt's fourth top-10 win of the season.
Pitt dominated in the early going to win the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-13, before the Cardinals clawed back to force a fifth set, taking the third and fourth sets, 27-25 and 25-20.
The Panthers were strong all throughout the match, outhitting Louisville .225 to .131 and out-digging them 56-49. Buzzerio was a force for Pitt this afternoon with 22 kills, 53 total attacks and a .302 hit percentage. Serena Gray had 15 kills and a .480 hit percentage.
The Cardinals had a strong push to fight back in the back half of the match after the disastrous start. Claire Chausee led the way 17 kills, while Nena Mbonu had 14.
Louisville forces fifth set
The Cardinals found their rhythm in the fourth set, seizing the momentum and winning, 25-20. They finished the set on a 9-3 run.
Louisville has found an answer for Pitt's Buzerrio after she dominated in the first two sets. The Cardinals outhit the Panthers, .189 to .024, in Set 4.
Louisville stays alive in Set 3, 27-25
It took three set points, but the Cardinals have life, edging Pitt in Set 3, 27-25.
Despite the Panthers' best efforts, Louisville hung around all throughout the set, refusing to let Pitt open up a big lead like they did in the first two sets. The opportunistic Cardinals found the execution they lacked on the day so far to take the lead and close out the set after an intense back-and-forth towards the end.
Ayden Bartlett came up with a big save to spark Louisville, and Nena Mbonu came through in the third set, getting up to eight kills on the match. Pitt is still outhitting the Cardinals .264 to .065.
Pitt keeps rolling in second set, 25-13
The Panthers kept up their domination of Louisville in the second set, cruising to a 25-13 set win.
Pitt outhit Louisville .385 to -.111 in the second set, and .328 to -.032 through the match so far. Buzzerio has continued to lead the way for the Panthers with 11 kills on the day
The Cardinals haven't been sharp with 18 attack errors and three service errors on the afternoon.
Pitt dominates first set, 25-15
Pitt opened the match with a strong first set, jumping out to a 25-15 lead.
The Panthers are outhitting Louisville .286 to .028. Courtney Buzzerio leads the match with seven kills and 15 total attacks for Pitt, while Julianna Dalton has 10 total attacks. Buzzerio, along with Chiamaka Nwokolo and Serena Gray each have three blocks.
Claire Chausee has three kills and 13 total attacks for Louisville.
How to watch the top 10 battle
Who: No. 2 Louisville vs No. 8 Pittsburgh
When: 1 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPNU
Louisville vs. Pitt, previewed
This really is my favorite matchup of the week. Our first Louisville-Pitt matchup is today at 1 p.m. ET. Louisville and Pitt are not only the two strongest teams in the ACC but two of the strongest teams in the nation. We have a full-out top-10 matchup on our hands and it is the first of two meetings this season. The Cards still just have one loss on the season to Ohio State and a plethora of ranked wins... hence the No. 2 ranking. This is an incredibly balanced team with weapons all over the court. Great defense with Elena Scott, incredible offense led by Claire Chaussee, who is having a great year, strong blocking and a very accomplished setter in Raquel Lazaro. She filled in big shoes for Tori Dilfer this year and has not missed a beat.
Pitt has some great wins, too, including over BYU, Ohio State and Georgia Tech. They have impressed this year after losing a lot of talent from 2021. Courtney Buzzerio has burst onto the scene for the Panthers and leads the offense with over four points per set. I expect this to be a really competitive matchup — Pitt will need to at least split with Louisville to get a really high seeding in the tournament, so they are going to play to win. Get excited about this ACC matchup on Sunday.
Louisville extended its unbeaten streak in ACC play to 37 straight matches and moved to 17-1 overall and 8-0 in ACC play with two four-set wins against Virginia Tech and Wake Forest this past weekend. Claire Chaussee notched her 1,000th career kill on Sunday with 15 kills against Wake Forest. No. 8 Pittsburgh is the only other team undefeated in ACC play. The Panthers are 8-0 in the ACC and 18-2 on the season. On top of that, they have a 3-0 record against top-10 opponents. Basically what I am saying is, this one is going to be good.
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