North Johnston’s Allen, Wall sign to play volleyball

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KENLY — The road to playing college athletics is a road with many different paths to the same destination. 

A good example of that is North Johnston senior volleyball players Chloe Allen and Jessica Wall, who signed together in their school’s library on Wednesday afternoon.

Allen signed with the NCAA Division III’s Methodist University in Fayetteville, choosing the Lady Monarchs over their USA South rival North Carolina Wesleyan and NCAA Division II Mount Olive. Allen said Methodist head coach Eddie Matthews sold the school well to her at a volleyball camp in Concord in 2017.

“He (Matthews) was so sweet, and he explained how the campus works and how the school is. I just fell in love with it,” Allen said. 

Allen is unsure in what she will major but said she’ll try biology. Allen will have the majority of her college tuition paid as she received two academic scholarships from the school that are worth $25,000 in total. Allen said with the scholarships and aid that she will only have to pay for her meal plan.

“Volleyball is my favorite sport and it’s amazing that it doesn’t stop in high school,” Allen said. “I can go four more years and do what I love.”

Wall’s path to signing a scholarship with Pitt Community College was much different. Wall said she decided as a junior that she didn’t want to continue playing volleyball after high school, but an injury during her senior season gave her second thoughts.

“In our first-round state playoffs, I sprained my ankle, and I didn’t want it to be over just yet,” Wall said. “I decided to play travel (volleyball) again and at a Greenville tournament, the Pitt Community coach approached me. He said he really liked how I played, and I realized that I wasn’t quite ready to be done yet.”

Wall said it works out for her educationally, too, because she’s not quite sure in what she wants to major. The two years at PCC give her the chance to get her general education classes out the way until she decides. Wall said she’s leaning towards education as a major.

The pair helped the Lady Panthers to a share of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference regular-season title as juniors in 2017 and to the state playoffs each of the last two years.