Smithfield: Sports

North Johnston’s Morgan Townsend to play volleyball at Wesleyan

Morgan Townsend signs with N.C. Wesleyan with (from left) North Johnston High principal Tim Harrell, athletics director and volleyball coach Nicole Davis and (at right) Eastern Elite Volleyball club coach Mike Bolechowski.
Morgan Townsend signs with N.C. Wesleyan with (from left) North Johnston High principal Tim Harrell, athletics director and volleyball coach Nicole Davis and (at right) Eastern Elite Volleyball club coach Mike Bolechowski. cbest@newsobserver.com

Parents: Mike and Sandy Townsend

High School: North Johnston

Club Team: Eastern Elite Volleyball Club

Height: 5-foot-6

Also Considered: Methodist, Greensboro, Laurel

Why Wesleyan? “It’s close to home and I loved the coaches and players in the program.”

Major: Elementary Education

Notable: Morgan will receive the John and Charles Wesley Scholarship, a full academic scholarship, at Wesleyan. She will play the libero position in college, just like she did at North and for Eastern Elite. She wants to improve on her aggressiveness and the consistency of her back row attacks. … She got her start in the game in the Future Lady Panthers Volleyball League at North Johnston as a fourth grader. She chose a college volleyball future over several soccer opportunities at the next level. Morgan, a defensive sweeper for the Panthers’ soccer team, had offers from Mount Olive, Guilford and Peace to play soccer. She played for the Wilson Youth Soccer Association’s Explosion 96 team and Johnston United Soccer Association in club soccer. … Balancing a heavy academic load and two near year-round sports with a little track mixed in was a challenge. “I knew sports was my reward for doing what I needed to do in the classroom,” she said, “so sports made me do better in my classes.”

North Johnston volleyball coach and athletic director Nicole Davis: “Morgan is an excellent example of what can help you earn a chance to play in college. The chance to play on a full athletic scholarship are very slim for any high school athlete. But if you do well enough academically, you can earn an academic scholarship and the chance to play in college. To see her do so well in the classroom and in athletics makes us very proud.”

Compiled by D. Clay Best

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