Former Pitt Panther Kelsey O’Neill is transferring from Pitt to Iowa for the 2017 indoor season. She will have one year of eligibility remaining.
“I’m excited to announce that I’ve decided to finish my volleyball and academic career at the University of Iowa,” O’Neill announced via her Instagram account. “I’ve cherished my time as a Panther and am so thankful for the amazing people I met along the way but I’m looking forward to my journey as a Hawkeye.”
O’Neill is a 6’1″ middle blocker and was a part of a Pitt team last season that became the first to advance tot he NCAA tournament in 12 years (and first to advance to the second round in 13). In total, she hit .257 on the season with 170 kills in 97 sets played out of the middle (1.75 kills/set). She also had 72 blocks, which ranked her 3rd-best on the team.
Her departure leaves Pitt a little thin on the front line. They graduated star middle blocker Jenna Potts, who is now playing professionally in the Czech Republic, and in spite of having only two seniors last season, their spring roster is now down to 12 players. That includes just two middle blockers: talented sophomore-to-be Layne Van Buskirk from Ontario (76 blocks and 247 kills in 112 sets last season) and junior-to-be Emily Horner (who had just 1 kill and 1 block assist in 26 sets played last season).
The Panthers have announced just 2 scholarship freshmen for the fall, which includes Chinaza Ndee from Houston. At 6’1″, the Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American can play outside or the middle, and based on need might tend toward the latter in her freshman year.