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Friday, December 3, 2021

Preview | Pitt volleyball’s roadmap to internet hosting an NCAA regional

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The 2021 NCAA Division I Girls’s Volleyball match is simply across the nook and the No. 3 Panthers (24-2, 13-2 ACC) are nonetheless very a lot in charge of their very own future.

After the conclusion of the common season, the NCAA makes use of a rankings committee to find out match seedings and the highest 4 ranked groups host one of many 4 regional rounds. The winner of every area will earn a spot within the match semifinals, which is why it’s essential that Pitt stays within the dialog to host one in all these regional tournaments.

Sadly for Pitt, the ACC championship appears to be out of attain. Though the Panthers haven’t been mathematically eradicated from rivalry, No. 1 Louisville (24-0, 14-0 ACC) may have the ultimate say in who takes the convention title. They made historical past final week, turning into the primary ACC workforce in convention historical past to earn a No. 1 rating within the AVCA coaches ballot.

Assuming that the Cardinals keep away from a cataclysmic collapse over their ultimate 4 video games of the common season, they may more than likely win the ACC common season title and maintain their No. 1 rating going into the NCAA Event. Even with a possible loss on the street in opposition to Pitt, one defeat shouldn’t mar their status within the eyes of the rankings committee.

Probably the most real looking aim for the Panthers at this level could be to host an NCAA regional match. With simply three video games remaining on their schedule, they’ve put themselves in an excellent place to complete the season robust and lock themselves into the highest 4.

Listed here are every of the hypothetical eventualities the Panthers may expertise over the following two weeks.

0-3 | Bumped out of prime 4

Shedding their final three video games of the season could be deadly to the Panthers’ regional host hopes. Not solely would they’ve 5 losses on the season, however they’d fall to No. 5 within the ACC, behind match hopefuls Georgia Tech (21-4, 12-3 ACC), Miami (21-4, 12-3 ACC) and Florida State (19-6, 11-4 ACC).

Whereas unlikely, dropping out isn’t inconceivable — two of the Panther’s ultimate three video games are in opposition to Georgia Tech and Louisville. Each groups have already dealt Pitt a loss this yr and every shall be trying to solidify their resume with the committee over the following two weeks.

Fortunately for the Panthers, they may also face Clemson (12-15, 3-12 ACC), who they dismantled with ease earlier this yr. Pitt has managed to keep away from any embarrassing upsets this season however with the stress on, no recreation in opposition to an ACC opponent shall be with out drama.

Within the occasion that Pitt does drop all three video games, they actually received’t miss the match. However they’ll more than likely drop in direction of the tail finish of the committee’s top-10 rankings.

1-2 | Nonetheless within the hunt

Surprisingly, a win in opposition to Clemson then two losses to Georgia Tech and Louisville would nonetheless depart the Panthers able to host a regional. Every of their losses would come to groups ranked within the prime 15, and solely 4 of the opposite top-10 groups have fewer than 4 losses.

Realistically, a one-loss BYU workforce or a three-loss Massive Ten Champion Wisconsin are the one groups that might knock a four-loss Pitt workforce out of the highest 4. However every of these two groups are on the skin trying in, as BYU’s one loss got here to Pitt earlier this season and the Badgers have a very powerful schedule to finish the season.

One other factor working in Pitt’s favor is their Rankings Efficiency Index rating. The rating takes each efficiency and energy of schedule into consideration and has adored not solely Pitt, however your entire ACC all season. Pitt held the No. 1 spot within the rankings for a lot of the season and solely simply dropped to No. 2 behind Louisville. Georgia Tech finds itself at No. 6 whereas each Florida State and Miami are ranked within the prime 15.

The committee in earlier years has relied closely on the RPI rankings of their decision-making. In the event that they proceed to take action, the committee will favor Pitt over each BYU and Wisconsin, even with 4 losses.

2-1 | Within the driver’s seat

Two wins and one loss to both Georgia Tech or Louisville would all however seal Pitt’s bid to host a regional match. Three losses — contemplating how powerful their schedule is — ought to maintain them within the prime 4, probably shifting as much as the No. 3 or No. 2 spot.

One other loss possible received’t harm the Panthers within the RPI rankings. Who the Panthers play after clinching a prime 4 place doesn’t make a lot of a distinction — they’ve confirmed this yr they will beat top-10 groups this yr. Maybe the one workforce outdoors the highest 4 who would give the Panthers their most difficult take a look at could be convention foe Georgia Tech — who managed to beat Pitt at Fitzgerald Subject Home earlier this yr.

On paper, there aren’t some ways the place a three-loss Pitt workforce wouldn’t host a regional, however on the finish of the day, BYU and Wisconsin can nonetheless make a robust case for the third and fourth spots.

3-0 | Difficult the highest

Overcoming its demons and taking wins over each Georgia Tech and Louisville to finish the season would possibly simply put Pitt within the dialog for the No. 1 nationwide rating.

With solely two losses in a season together with quite a few wins over ranked groups, the committee would don’t have any room to exclude the Panthers from a prime 4 spot. They’d actually have a robust case to take the No. 2 spot from Texas on benefit, because the Longhorn’s sole loss got here by the hands of Baylor, who Pitt defeated earlier within the season.

Dethroning Louisville is unlikely if its solely loss involves the Panthers on Nov. 24 — however it’s a very actual chance {that a} win would push the Panthers again into the No. 1 spot within the RPI rankings, forcing the committee to make some very powerful selections about who ought to take the No. 1 match rating.

Prediction | Pitt finishes the yr with three whole losses and solidifies No. 4 seed within the match

With wins in opposition to Clemson and Georgia Tech and a loss to Louisville down the stretch, the Panthers will rating favorably sufficient with the match rankings committee to host their area because the 4 seed nationally.

Wisconsin nonetheless appears to be like poised to win the Massive 10 and in the event that they achieve this, will take the No. 3 seed from the Panthers.
Even when BYU stays at one loss for the rest of the season, their RPI rating and resume simply received’t be sufficient to justify them being within the prime 4 — particularly not over a Pitt workforce who already beat them handily earlier this season.

Pitt will look towards veteran management to information them within the ultimate three video games of the yr. Gamers like graduate scholar outdoors hitter Kayla Lund, and fifth-year senior proper aspect hitter Chinaza Ndee have already carried out on the nationwide stage for the Panthers and want to make use of their expertise to maintain the workforce on the appropriate foot going into the tourney.
Something can occur this late within the yr, however the Panthers have actually put themselves in a good place to do harm on the nationwide degree this postseason.

The Panthers’ subsequent recreation will happen at Georgia Tech on Friday and can air on ACC Community. The NCAA volleyball match choice present is on Nov. 28 and can air on ESPNU.

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