Nov. 28, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On senior day for six University of Notre Dame volleyball student-athletes, the Pitt Panthers put the finishing touches on its NCAA Tournament resume with a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-14, 25-18) of the Irish in front of 1,072 fans at Purcell Pavilion.
The Panthers (25-6, 13-5 ACC) had a solid day at the net, as they tallied 43 kills (.357 A%) and 7.5 blocks to distance themselves from the Irish (6-23, 3-15 ACC), who totaled 37 kills (.202 A%) and just 3.0 blocks.
Amanda Orchard had an outstanding offensive match for Pitt with 11 kills while hitting a whopping .786. Elsewhere, Kate Yeazel had nine kills (.444 A%) and four blocks and Mariah Bell totaled nine kills (.389 A%).
Pitt had 17 kills in the first set and 13 in each of the final two.
Notre Dame had its best chance in a first set that featured 11 ties and nine lead changes. However, a 14-14 tie set soon became a 21-16 Pitt lead, as the Panthers went on a 7-2 run midway through the frame. Notre Dame could get no closer than four points the remainder of the set.
The loss closed out a tough season for the Irish that saw them go 0-14 in three-set matches (6-9 in 4 & 5-set contests), as they battled injuries that allowed eight underclassmen (six freshman) to play critical roles on the team.
Smith finished off her five-year career with a team-high 10 kills while hitting a career-high .529 for the match. After battling injuries for much of her first three years, the Franklin, Tennessee native totaled 496 of her 536 career kills over her final two campaigns.
Houser, finished the match with eight kills (.389 A%) to conclude her career with 1,299 kills, which places her into a tie for eighth place in school history with standout Jessica Fiebelkorn (1989-92). She also closed out her career in the top 10 in six other categories.
Severyn had a match-high 17 digs to finish with 181 digs for the year, a new career best.
Vonderhaar had seven kills against the Panthers, while Klosterman notched the team’s lone service ace of the match.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director