Wisconsin volleyball falls to Pitt in Elite Eight
Badgers run for back-to-back National Championships comes up short in the Regional Final.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin volleyball team fell to Pitt in a tight five-set match on Saturday night in the Field House.
After trailing most of the first set, the Badgers stormed back going on a 12-4 run to take the lead and win the first set 25-23.
In the second, Badgers would get out to a 3-0 start thanks to two kills and a block from Devyn Robinson. The Panthers would go on a 8-3 run to take the lead which they would maintain for rest of the set, winning set two 25-21 and tying things up a 1-1 headed into the third.
Pitt would continue to have the hot hand in the third set, hitting .300 with Courtney Buzzerio and Chiamaka Nwokolo both having five kills a piece to win the third 25-21.
With their backs against the wall in the fourth set the Badgers responded. Robinson held steady for the Badgers, hitting .457 with 18 kills through four matches and Wisconsin forced a fifth set.
In the fifth Robinson would have back-to-back kills to get within three points of Pitt, trailing 7-4. Wisconsin would go on a 5-0 run started by three kills in a row from Julia Orzol and then a fourth kill from Orzol that would give the Badgers a 12-11 lead.
From there the Badgers were burned by three shots from Buzzerio, who had the game-winning kill to send Pitt to the Final Four, beating Wisconsin 15-13. Pitt will face Louisville next Thursday in the National Semifinal in Omaha, Nebraska.
UW entered the tournament as one of four top regional seeds and powered its way through Quinnipiac and TCU in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The Badgers encountered a tough Penn State team for the third time this season, and defeated the Nittany Lions in five sets.
Wisconsin has won their last 21 matches and was previously undefeated at the UW Field House this season. Leading the way on the offense for the Badgers was sophomore outside Sarah Franklin with 385 total kills, followed by junior right-side hitter Devyn Robinson with 283.
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