Former Pitt volleyball, basketball player dies in Blair County car accident

Monica Wignot, who played four seasons for Pitt volleyball before becoming one of the top all-time shot blockers for the women’s basketball team, died in an automobile accident Friday in Antis Township, near Altoona, in Blair County.

She was 29 years old.

Wignot, a native of Wilkes-Barre, was a volleyball player for Pitt from 2010-13, earning All-Big East honors in 2012. She set a Pitt record in 2011 with an average of 10.7 attacks per set, the most in a single season during the 25-point rally scoring era that started in 2008.

Wignot used her final season of collegiate eligibility on Pitt’s women’s basketball team that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2015. She started all 31 games and finished with the second-most blocks (83) in a single season in Pitt history. She ranked second in scoring (10 points per game) and third in rebounding (6.4).

“Monica Wignot represented the student-athlete ideal at Pitt,” athletic director Heather Lyke said in a statement. “She excelled in not one but two sports at the Division I level, a reflection of both her tremendous talent and commitment.

“That same dedication was evident in her academic pursuits as she earned three degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. The Pitt Athletics family extends our deepest sympathies to Monica’s family and loved ones.”

Wignot earned dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology in 2014 and a master’s in social work in 2016. She was a graduate assistant for the basketball team during the 2015-16 season.

“Monica was a fantastic athlete, a loyal teammate and a good person,” volleyball coach Dan Fisher said. “She was on my first team at Pitt in 2013 and by the end of that year, she became the best player on our court. She had a big hand in helping turn this program around and I wish I could have coached her longer. I know how much her family, teammates and loved ones are hurting right now.”

“I am truly devastated,” former women’s basketball coach Suzie McConnel-Serio said. “Monica was a special athlete, but more importantly an amazing young woman — someone you hope your daughter grows up to be like. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Wignot is survived by her parents, Thomas and Terese, and three siblings, Stephen, Owen and Julia. Services are planned for Thursday at the MJ McLaughlin Company and St. Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at jdipaola@triblive.com or via Twitter

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