Three transfers join FAMU’s defending SWAC volleyball championship team

FAMU will have the addition of transfers (from left) Aja Jones Brooke, Lynne Watts and Brooke Hudson this season.
Photo submitted

Outlook Staff Report

When the FAMU volleyball team begins defense of its SWAC championship later this year, it will have the addition of three transfers — Aja Jones from Florida Gulf Coast University, Brooke Lynne Watts from Murray State, and Brooke Hudson from Colorado State. 

Coach Gokhan Yilmaz noted the versatility that Jones, who played three seasons at FGCU, brings to the program as a middle blocker. She joined the program during the spring.  

“She is a strong MB who will add diversity to our already athletic core,” Yilmaz said. “Aja brings championship and NCAA tournament experience to our gym. We are fortunate to add such a high-level in-state volleyball player.”

During 33 starts before coming to FAMU, Jones played 106 sets. She posted 210 kills and hit .313 with 31 digs and 127 blocks, nine solo. Jones was instrumental in the Eagles winning the ASUN championship as she finished second on the team in points with 278. 

Jones had 10 kills and one block in the ASUN championship game against Jacksonville State. Jones finished with double-digits kills five times, including a season-high 15 against Stetson. Jones had at least five blocks in 10 games, including a career-high 10 versus Texas Tech.

Yilmaz praised Watts for her tenacious style of play that she demonstrated as a freshman in the Ohio Valley Conference.

 “She is very competitive and can play high-level front row and back row,” Yilmaz said. “Brooke will make our outsides group more competitive and help us diversify our offensive system.” 

Watts earned OVC Freshman of the Year and made the All-OVC First Team in the season that she played at Murray State. Watts finished seventh in the NCAA in kills (521), 12th in kills per set (4.61), 19th in points (555.5), and 26th in points per set (4.92). Watts led the OVC in the four major offensive categories: kills, kills per set, points, and points per set.

Watts rewrote Murray State’s single-match (4-Set) kills record with career-high 34 against Georgia Southern last September, on a career-high .387 hitting percentage. Watts was an eight-time OVC Newcomer of the Week and three-time OVC Offensive Player of the Week. She recorded double-digit kills in all but one match, including 20-plus kills in 10 matches.

Hudson, a three-year contributor at Colorado State, is originally from Houston.

“She is an outstanding back row player and a very mature person,” Yilmaz said. “We are expecting Brooke to help our back row play right away.”

In 2021, Hudson played in 19 matches, making four starts in the back row. Hudson played in 45 sets, totaling 58 digs and posting a .908 service reception mark, and reached double-figure digs twice, with a season-high 12 at North Carolina on Sept. 3, before following with an 11 digs performance at NC State on Sept. 4.

Hudson saw the most action during her freshman season in 2019 as she appeared in 101 sets and made four starts. Hudson finished fifth on the team with 185 digs. She posted double-figure digs against San Jose State on Oct. 24 and Nevada on Oct. 26 with 10 and 11. Hudson recorded her third double-figure match at Denver on Nov. 30 in the regular-season finale with 11. 

 


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