Plum’s Jackson gives verbal commitment to Pitt volleyball
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | 6:46 PM
For Plum’s Makayla Jackson, Pitt is it.
The Mustangs standout junior middle hitter paid an official visit to the University of Pittsburgh volleyball program over the weekend, and she came away impressed so much that she gave a verbal commitment to the Panthers.
“I loved the campus and the fact that it’s so close to home,” said Jackson, who watched Pitt, ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division I by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, sweep Wake Forest and Duke in ACC play.
“The coaches and players were so nice. I felt right at home. It was great to see them play really well. The crowd was awesome with so many people supporting them. It’s super exciting to know I will be a part of the program.”
Jackson, who received interest from several dozen Division I programs, also made an official visit to Miami (Fla.) in September.
The Panthers, who return to action Friday against Georgia Tech at Fitzgerald Field House, are 23-1 overall and 12-0 in the ACC.
“Makayla would be an asset for any school. She’s the whole package,” Plum coach Kelsey Bonk said. “She’s outrageously athletic and a very skilled player, but she’s also intelligent and just a really good person. She deserves everything she’s gotten to this point.”
Jackson, who didn’t start playing organized volleyball until eighth grade, is the first Division I recruit from Plum since Clairissa Hankinson signed with Eastern Kentucky four years ago.
“She’s continued to grow every year,” Bonk said. “To see where she was (in eighth grade) to where she is now, this outstanding volleyball player, it’s been amazing to be a part of.”
Jackson credits her improvement over the past couple of years to her coaches and the players who have helped her grow.
Plum finished its season 3-9 in Section 3-AAA and 4-12 overall.
“Makayla carried us this year and helped us be more competitive,” Bonk said. “There’s no other way to say it. She led our team in kills and blocks, and she played six rotations. She was a complete workhorse this year. The game plan going in was for her to get a majority of the touches. She did a great job of keeping us in matches.”
Jackson now turns her attention to her Revolution Pittsburgh club team which holds tryouts this weekend and begins tournament play in January.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .