The sweep streak is over. The home streak is not.
Hosting a top-10 matchup for the first time, No. 6 Pitt got by No. 10 Oregon, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22) Wednesday night. The Panthers have now won 27 in a row at Fitzgerald Field House. They haven't lost at home since Oct. 22, 2017 to NC State.
Nika Markovic and Kayla Lund combined for 28 kills for Pitt (7-0), with Markovic needing only 34 swings to get her 14 kills. Oregon had 13 kills and 10 digs from senior Willow Johnson before she left the game with an injury. Ducks coach Matt Ulmer carried her off the court.
Going into the match, Pitt and Oregon (2-1) were two of only three remaining teams to not lose a set (Penn State is the other). While 2-0 Oregon had swept its way to six set wins, the Panthers ran off 18 in a row in starting 6-0. On Wednesday, Pitt took the first set to end the Ducks' run. Oregon then halted Pitt's 19-0 set stretch with a win in set No. 2.
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There wasn't much separation between the two all match in any set — there were 18 ties in the opening set alone. But the Panthers were at their most efficient in hitting in the fourth set to secure the win. That helped offset Ronika Stone's 13 kills as Pitt picked up its highest-ranked win since upsetting No. 8 North Carolina on Oct. 30, 2016.
Pitt now heads to Malibu, California, where the Panthers play Cal Poly on Friday, No. 16 Utah on Saturday and Pepperdine also on Saturday. Pitt then plays No. 4 Penn State next week in a home-and-home set (Sept. 20 and 22).
Oregon will remain in Pennsylvania for its next two matches. The Ducks face No. 8 Minnesota on Friday and No. 4 Penn State on Saturday. Both matches are at University Park, Pennsylvania.
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