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<p>Indiana Volleyball Head Coach Steve Aird gives direction during a practice inside Wilkinson Hall.</p>
Indiana Volleyball Head Coach Steve Aird gives direction during a practice inside Wilkinson Hall.

Choosing the Hoosiers: Indiana volleyball lands three talented 2025 commits in July

Multiple 2025 commits are ranked as the top players in their respective states

The future of Indiana volleyball is bright. Head coach Steve Aird has successfully secured three top-tier 2025 recruits: Charlotte Vinson (Indiana), Isabela Haggard (Kentucky), and Aniya Warren (Illinois). This will likely be Aird’s highest-rated recruiting class since coming to Bloomington six years ago. Vinson and Haggard, regarded as the best players in their respective states, are joined by Warren, who also boasts an impressive ranking at No. 4 in Illinois.

Although Vinson is from Yorktown, Indiana, she never thought she’d call herself a Hoosier — and neither did her family. 

“I never felt like I was going to go here because my whole family are Purdue fans,” Vinson said. “At first, they didn’t want me to go there. But as it progressed, they were the ones that said I should definitely consider it.”

Despite receiving offers from schools such as North Carolina, Northwestern, Penn State and Florida, it was ultimately Aird's coaching philosophy and unwavering commitment to winning that convinced her to choose the Hoosiers.

“The conversations were really good,” Vinson said. “Coach Aird came on strong. In the first conversation we had, he offered me. I feel like all of the coaches are such a family. They welcomed me and cared deeply about me and my family. It was really just knowing that they really care — not just about my athletic ability — but about me as a person.” 

She also had formed a few relationships with current Hoosiers, Ava Vickers and Ramsey Gary, after being teammates on a club team for two years. They helped to sell her on the future of the program and gave her tours of the campus when she’d visit. 

“I think that was one of my big reasons why I committed there,” Vinson said. “I told them right after I committed because they were there. I just texted them both and I said, ‘Guess what, guys, I'm a Hoosier. I'm with you guys.’ I think they're really excited.”

Vinson’s older sister is entering her senior year at Ball State, where she’s also playing volleyball. 

“She introduced me to volleyball,” Vinson said of her sister. “My whole family never played at all, so she was the one who started it for me.” 

Although she won’t get to play at the same time as her sister, she’s looking forward to staying close to home and having her family come watch her play. 

When it comes to her game, the one word she consistently uses to define herself is "competitive."

“I just want to win,” Vinson said. 

Her competitive nature shines on the court, and that was specifically showcased when her club team won Nationals this past season. She’s a leader — someone capable of bringing the team together. 

The second commit, Haggard, follows a similar path. She was another highly recruited prospect with offers from Western Kentucky, Utah, Notre Dame, Arizona, West Virginia and more. 

Haggard’s former club director Chris Beerman’s daughter Kendall played for the Hoosiers under Aird. Before Chris died, he encouraged Haggard to check out Indiana’s program. 

“He always said that I reminded him so much of his daughter,” Haggard said. 

So she took his advice, visited IU and it was love at first sight. She was instantly drawn to the campus, the program, the facilities and the coaches. 

“They see eye to eye with me,” Haggard said of the coaching staff. “We all just see the same things. We all have the same goals and I think that we're gonna be able to reach them.” 

As a player, all she wants to do is win. She also had a chance to play — and win — on a big stage this year. Her club team, KIVA, won at the 16 Open AAU tournament this summer. 

Despite having a bad draw on the day of the Finals, she rallied her team and won. 

“We had been working towards this all year,” Haggard said. “That's the thing we talked about from day one. Like, what do you want to do? We want to win the national championship. And a lot of players can say that and be like, ‘Yeah, that's what I want to do.’ But it's not reachable for most. We knew from the start that for our team, it was definitely reachable and we worked so hard to get there. It just felt like the championship game was just the cherry on top.”

She’ll bring this leadership and winning mentality with her to Indiana. 

“I’m very competitive,” Haggard said. “I’m a leader. I help players be the best versions of themselves. I get the best out of my teammates and give them confidence for their next swing, because I know that I need them in order to win the game.”

Warren, the most recent ‘25 commit, said she was certain that IU was the perfect place for her to play. She had offers from schools such as Michigan, Maryland, Northwestern and Auburn, but ultimately knew that Indiana was where she belonged. From her first interaction with Aird, she felt an instant sense of calm. 

“You expect a coach to be proper, like ‘Hey, how are you?’, but he came over and said, “Yo, what’s up?’” Warren said. “It was a really good experience that really calmed me.” 

Her first time on campus was during a camp and she expressed the welcoming experience she had, saying that even the other 2025’s that committed made her feel like she was being greeted with open arms. 

“I felt so loved by all the players and coaches,” Warren said. “When we were even in town, fans were chanting and telling us to go to IU. There was just so much love there.”

She describes herself as a fighter and a fierce competitor. She shares the same winning mentality that the other commits voiced.“My game play is definitely putting the team first,” Warren said. “I’m hardworking and determined, on and off the court.” 

The Hoosiers had their best season under Aird last year, finishing eighth in the Big Ten, which is the team’s highest finish since the conference expansion. With this trio of recruits, Indiana volleyball is poised for higher levels of success. Their commitment, skills, and determination to win will elevate the program and pave the way for a bright future in college volleyball. 

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