Pittsburgh lost its starting setter the first day of practice. Since then, nothing has stopped the sixth-ranked Panthers.
Wednesday night they beat visiting No. 10 Oregon 26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22 to improve to 7-0 and win for the 27th consecutive time at home.
It was the first time either team had lost a set all season.
For the Ducks (2-1) it was the first step in a brutal fews days of competition. Next up is a match against No. 8 Minnesota on Friday at Penn State and then they play No. 4 Penn State on Saturday. Penn State, by the way, is the only team left in the nation not to have lost a set.
More on that match and the six others that were played Wednesday in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, but first a look at Thursday’s schedule.
While the Friday-Saturday slate is loaded with more interesting early season non-conference matches, there are 18 matches on tap Thursday.
That includes the ACC’s Clemson playing host to in-state rival South Carolina of the SEC.
The Big Ten’s Michigan State also plays an in-state opponent when Oakland visits.
There are four matches involving Big 12 teams, including No. 5 Baylor, which last week jumped 12 spots in the AVCA Coaches Poll, the largest jump ever not going from either the preseason into the regular season or from the regular season into the final poll.
Baylor plays host to Houston. Also, Kansas is home for Morehead State to open its new facility, Kansas State goes to Missouri State and West Virginia is at No. 18 Hawai’i.
Two Pac-12 teams play Thursday as Colorado goes to Colorado State and UCLA plays Utah Valley at Hawai’i.
Also in the SEC, Texas A&M is home for Texas State and Alabama goes to UAB in nearby Birmingham.
The West Coast Conference’s BYU, ranked No. 14, goes to Wichita State of the American Athletic Conference. Also in the WCC Santa Clara plays host to San Jose State.
You can click here for the complete schedule at NCAA.com.
To watch any of those matches, go to our daily VolleyballMag.com TV and streaming listings to get a link to any match that is being broadcast.
Pittsburgh tops Oregon: Nika Markovic and Kayla Lund led the Panthers with 14 kills apiece. Markovic hit .353 and had nine digs and three blocks. Lund had two assists, an ace and six digs. Layne Van Buskirk added 10 kills, hit .381, and had a dig and four blocks, one solo.
Freshman Lexis Akeo, who has taken over admirably as the setter, had 39 assists, two aces, 10 digs and a block.
It wasn’t our best night offensively, which was uncharacteristic,” said Pittsburgh coach Dan Fisher, whose team hit .156. “We just kept grinding and found a way.”
Pittsburgh heads to Malibu to play Cal Poly, Pepperdine and No. 16 Utah at Pepperdine this weekend.
Oregon’s Willow Johnson and Ronika Stone had 13 kills each, but Johnson left in the fourth set with an injury and her team ahead 19-18. Johnson had two aces, 10 digs and two blocks. Stone hit .450 and had seven digs and five blocks, one solo. Brooke Nuneviller, normally the libero, moved to outside hitter and had 10 kills, 16 digs and three blocks. Kylie Robinson had 44 assists to go with a kill, two aces, six digs and four blocks, but her team hit .141.
Around the nation: American University (4-3) swept at Norfolk State (0-6). Olivia Wassner had eight kills and hit .583 to go with an ace, seven digs and a block. Norfolk State hit .000 …
Saint Peters (2-4) trailed 2-1 but rallied to beat visiting Delaware State in five. Angeleyshka Curbelo led with 17 kills in the 25-21, 13-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12 victory and Alanis Alvarado had 16. Sydney Lewis had 22 kills with one error in 29 attacks to hit .724 for Delaware State (1-7), and had nine blocks, three solo …
Seton Hall (2-6) swept visiting Iona as Haylee Gasser had 16 kills, eight digs and two aces. Jamie Smith had 13 kills for Iona (0-7) …
Lafayette (3-5) won in four at winless Fairleigh Dickinson (0-7). Grace Tulevech led Lafayette with 13 kills …
Something had to give when Wofford (1-6) swept at NC Central (0-6) as Catie Cronister had 17 kills and hit .519 to go with three aces, a solo block and 14 digs …
And Tulsa (4-3) went across town to beat Oral Roberts (4-5) 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 27-25 as Dilara Gedkoglu had 20 kills, an ace, nine digs and a block. Callie Cook had 12 kills and hit .417 and had seven blocks, one solo. CeCe Madison led ORU with 20 kills and 13 digs.