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Pitt VB Lands Top 2026 Prospect, Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year

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Pitt volleyball commit Ayanna Watson

Dan Fisher and Pitt volleyball are on a roll that doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.

Ayanna Watson — a 6-foot-3 outside hitter from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nev. — announced her commitment Tuesday morning via social media, giving another top recruit in the class of 2026. She’s now the fourth commitment in what is turning into one of the top classes in the country.

Watson is also the daughter of former NBA player C.J. Watson, who expressed pride in his daughter on X (formerly known as Twitter) following her announcement.

Watson announced her decision on Instagram, writing:

“it’s finally here!! pitt is it!! i’m so extremely excited and blessed to announce that i have verbally committed to play division one volleyball at the University of Pittsburgh!! I am so honored for this opportunity to continue my academic and athletic career as a panther!! first, i wanted to thank God for gifting me with my athletic and academic abilities and also for allowing me to be presented with all of the opportunities i have been granted along the way.

“next, i wanted to thank my parents and my sisters who have been my biggest supporters throughout this whole process. i also wanted to thank my teammates, friends, and coaches that have helped me to develop to where i am today not only as an athlete, but more important as a human being. as far as coaches go, thank you to Coach Mel and Coach Ruben for always believing in me and making me better by teaching me life lessons through this beautiful sport. lastly, i wanted to thank Coaches Fisher, Kellen, Kama, Shaun, and Michael for offering me the opportunity to be apart of the Pitt family! im so excited for what my future holds and can’t wait to call myself a panther!! hail to pitt!!”

Watson is a major addition for Pitt, rated as the fifth-ranked recruit in the class by PrepVolleyball and 12th-ranked recruit by PrepDig. She was named the 2023-24 Nevada Volleyball Player of the Year by Gatorade following her sophomore season.

“Ayanna Watson is a very deserving winner,” Coronado High head coach Melody Nua said via Gatorade. “She put up big numbers, pulled down high accolades and her team to regional and state titles.”

As a sophomore, Watson helped the Gaels (along with her current and future teammate Trinity Thompson) to a 34-5 record and Class-5A Nevada title. She racked up 605 kills (5.7 per set on a .392 hitting percentage) and added 373 digs, 56 aces, 52 blocks and a .978 serve percentage.

Watson is also active in the community, volunteering for the Quietstorm Foundation’s Free Out of School Program by working with preteens ans teens to develop healthy habits, create art and take field trips. She’s also spent time at the Foundation’s annual youth basketball camp.

Watson is the fourth commitment in the class of 2026, joining fellow top recruit Isabelle Hoppe, outside hitter/libero Izzy Masten and libero/outside hitter Trinity Thompson, giving the Panthers a quartet of high-potential rising high school juniors.

Pitt is bringing four freshmen in in the class of 2024 this season, middle blockers Bianca Garibaldi and Ryla Jones, setter/right-side hitter Kiana Dinn and libero Mallorie Meyer. The Panthers will also welcome two commitments in the class of 2025, middle blocker/outside hitter Abbey Emch and outside hitter Samara Coleman.

Pitt opens the 2024 season on the road this year, traveling to Eugene, Oreg. to take on a talented Ducks squad that knocked off the Panthers in five sets last September and advanced to the Elite 8 in each of the past two seasons.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Chris
Chris
27 days ago

Hell yeah!

tjpitt
tjpitt
27 days ago

welcome aboard Ms. Watson … H2P !

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