Pitt volleyball announced on Thursday that junior middle blocker Bre Kelley is out for the season, as they posted a statement she wrote on Twitter.
Kelley suffered the injury in just the fourth match of the season on the road at then ranked No. 15 Kentucky on Sept. 1. The ankle injury forced here out of the past nine games and she spent her time on the bench with a boot on her foot and using crutches to walk around.
“Life Update: I know this happened a little white ago, but I wanted everyone to know that I had a season-ending ankle injury against Kentucky earlier this month,” Kelley wrote in her statement. “This is my first time ever overcoming a serious injury, so it is a bit overwhelming and scary, but I have the best support system, coaches and teammates to help me get through these hard times. I’m so thankful to have the Lord in my corner who puts me through trials, knowing I will learn through these hardships. I’m incredibly grateful for this team and these seniors. I’ll see you next year! H2P”
Kelley transferred in from Florida in June to join Pitt and started in the first four matches of 2023 at middle blocker prior to her injury. She had 26 kills and 13.0 total blocks in 10 sets in those four matches, while making a season high nine kills in the loss to then ranked No. 17 BYU in the 2023 opener.
She also played with Pitt junior setter Rachel Fairbanks and under head coach Dan Fisher on Team USA these past two summers, winning back-to-back Pan Am U-21 Cups.
Kelley posted her announcement on Instagram, as well, and received words of encouragement from Panthers teammates and other volleyball players across the country.
With Bre Kelley out for the season, Pitt has three available middle blockers on the roster in graduates Chiamaka Nwokolo and Emma Monks, along with sophomore Rachel Jepsen.
Nwokolo returned for the 2023 season after initially deciding to graduate after her senior season in 2022 and has been a big part of the team. Her 1.61 blocks per set leads the ACC, with 37 total blocks in 23 sets.
Monks has also served an important role for the Panthers, as her 54.0 total blocks and .410 hitting percentage are both first on the team. She is second in the ACC and seventh in the nation with 1.54 blocks per set.
Jepsen is also growing in her second season with the program. She has made 30.0 total blocks and is hitting .392 in 2023.
Pitt is currently No. 8 in the nation, 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. With big matches coming up against No. 5 Louisville and No. 11 Georgia Tech home-and-away, Pitt will need everyone to step up if they are to repeat as ACC Champions and to make the Final Four.