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Pitt Adds a New Middle Blocker in Michigan State Grad Transfer Emma Monks

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Pitt added a new middle blocker in Michigan State graduate transfer Emma Monks on Wednesday.

Monks announced her decision to transfer to Pitt on her Instagram in a post that said, “Not done yet!! So excited to use my last year of Eligibility at the University of Pittsburgh. #h2p

Monks played four seasons as a member of the Spartans from 2019-22. She played in 14 matches in her first season and then only seven as a sophomore during the COVID-19 impacted 2021 Spring season.

She increased her playing time her final two seasons at Michigan State, playing in 20 or more matches the final two seasons.

Monks played in 21 matches and 69 sets her senior season. She made a career high 133 kills,  averaging 1.93 kills per set, both good enough for fifth best on Michigan State. She also led the team with a .354 hitting percentage. and 1.04 blocks per set. Monks finished third total with 72.0 blocks on the season

Monks finished in double digits for kills in the final five games of the season. She made a career-high 13 kills in a sweep over Northwestern on the road on November 20, and helped Michigan State win three of their final five matches after starting 1-14 in Big Ten play.

Monks, standing at 6-foot-4, brings immediate depth to the middle blocker position, something that Pitt needs going into the 2023 season.

Middle blockers in AVCA First-Team All-American graduate Serena Gray and AVCA East Coast Region Team/Second-Team All-ACC senior Chiamaka Nwokolo both graduated from the program. Graduate middle blocker Sabrina Starks also graduated, leaving the Panthers with one returning middle blocker in rising sophomore Rachel Jepsen.

Jepsen played in 17 matches, but only 20 sets last season, as she sat behind Gray, Nwokolo and Starks. Despite her lack of playing time last year, Jepsen is a burgeoning talent and is attending the USA Volleyball National Team Open Program this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Panthers rising junior outside hitter Julianna Dalton showed support for Monks under her Instagram post, as she wrote, “YESSSS MAMA!!! Pitt is it !! 🤍”

With the addition of Monks, Pitt now has 14 players in eight returning players, four incoming first years, and two transfers along with Virginia Tech graduate transfer libero/defensive specialist Logan Mosley.

Pitt will likely still be looking for another middle blocker to add in this transfer portal, or potentially, a true right side hitter, as the roster lacks one with graduate Courtney Buzzerio leaving after 2022.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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