UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 23rd-ranked Dayton volleyball team fell 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-27, 19-25) to Pittsburgh Friday night at Penn State's Rec Hall in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Dayton closes out the 2016 season with a 30-2 record. Pitt advances to the Second Round and will face the winner of Penn State/LIU Brooklyn.
STATS OF THE MATCH
• Junior Jessica Sloan led three Flyers in double-figures kills with 14 while also tallying seven digs.
• Junior Amber Erhahon had 10 kills, hit at .533 for the match and recorded six blocks while sophomore Kendyll Brown also had 10 kills and tallied a match-high seven blocks.
• Junior Jane Emmenecker posted the Flyers' only double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs and sophomore Margo Wolf got under a team-high 16 digs.
• Pittsburgh was led by Nika Markovic with a match-high 16 kills while hitting at .424 and passing 14 digs.
• Set One: A kill and a block scored the first two points for Dayton and the Flyers were in front three at 7-4 after a Panther error. Junior Laura Hubacek served up an ace to give UD a four-point advantage, 10-6, and Pitt called for timeout. Dayton got it to six, 13-7, on a kill from Erhahon and the Flyers reached 15 up seven. A triple block from sophomore Lauren Bruns, Emmenecker and Erhahon stretched the lead to eight, 18-10, but the Panthers put together four-straight points, cutting it to 18-14. Pitt was able to get within four again at 22-18, ad UD reached set point at 24-19. Pittsburgh held once but Dayton took the set with a kill from Bruns, 25-20.
• Set Two: Pitt surged out to a 6-1 lead in the second set and the Panthers were up six at 9-3 when the Flyers signaled for a break. A 4-0 Dayton run cut the Pittsburgh lead to four, 11-7, and the Panther advantage was three, 13-10, after a kill from Bruns. Pitt was able to get it up to five, 19-14, but a 3-0 UD spurt set the score at 20-18 in favor of the Panthers. Dayton was unable to overcome the deficit as Pittsburgh claimed the second set, 25-19.
• Set Three: Dayton showed up tough in the third set, jumping ahead 10-3 after scoring seven unanswered points. Pittsburgh rallied with a 5-0 run to get within two, 12-10, but Dayton got it back out to four at 15-11. The Panthers kept it close but the Flyers were finally able to get in front by four at 20-16 and led by six, 23-17, after a Pitt attacking error. Pittsburgh battled back and reached set point at 24-23 but a Dayton double block stopped the rally. It wouldn't hold as the Panthers took it to extra points and won set three, 27-25.
• Set Four: Set four saw five tied scores before Pittsburgh was able to get an 8-6 advantage and the Panthers got up four, 12-8. Pitt got to 15 first ahead four and UD used a 3-0 spurt to get within one, 15-14. Dayton was within one again at 18-17 but Pittsburgh scored the next two right into a UD timeout. The Flyers cut the Panther lead to two, 20-18, but that would be as close as they would get as Pitt took the fourth set, 25-19, and the match, 3-1.
On behalf of Dayton Athletics, Dayton volleyball would like to wish Megan Giardina all the best in her future endeavors as she is set to graduate this May. The Flyers will return all six starters plus libero for 2017.