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LaFayette High senior Jillian Morgan announced on Friday that she had signed to continue her volleyball career at NCAA Division II Montevallo University in Alabama.

After one of the greatest four-year volleyball careers in LaFayette High School and northwest Georgia history, Jillian Morgan has chosen to showcase her talents at Montevallo University in Alabama.

Morgan, the three-time Karissa Tatum Walker County Volleyball Player of the Year, the 2019 Area 6-AAAA Player of the Year and the 2019 Class AAAA State Co-Player of the Year, said it only took one visit to the central Alabama university to help her make up her mind.

"It's a small-town community like LaFayette and I just felt like I fit in there well," she explained, adding that she enjoyed meeting the players on the Falcons' current roster when she went on her visit. "It just felt right to go ahead and choose Montevallo.

"The campus isn't too big. It's very pretty down there and it's not too far away from home so my parents can come and watch games."

A Georgia Senior All-Star Game selection this past season, Morgan recorded a career-high 433 kills, 125 blocks (49 solo) with 113 digs, 67 aces and 61 assists in her final campaign for the Lady Ramblers, who won the area championship and advanced to the Class AAAA state semifinals for the first time since 2001.

She surpassed the 1,000-kill mark for her stellar career, finishing up with 1,343 kills, 352 blocks, 323 digs and 240 aces. LaFayette went 154-49 with Morgan on the roster and won at least 40 matches in each of the past three seasons, setting a single-season program mark with a 48-6 record this past fall.

"They're getting a hard worker," LaFayette head coach Chris Logan said. "I first saw her play in a match at the high school as an eighth grader. By her freshman year, I knew we needed her on the floor because of her height. The next year, she really started taking over games and (in) her junior and senior years, she just ran away with it.

"(Montevallo) is going to get somebody that's going to keep improving. I think she's just going to keep getting better."

Even though the 6-foot-1 Morgan was a middle hitter and blocker during her time at LaFayette, she said is ready to help out the Falcons anywhere on the floor.

"I think I can really just fit in wherever they need me," she explained. "I wasn't recruited to play just one position...just whatever they call me to do is what I'll do."

Logan added that Morgan encouraged her teammates to work hard with the effort she personally put in on a daily basis.

"She helped set the standard, her along with (fellow senior) Gracie Stier (who signed to play at Chattanooga State)," Logan said. "Hopefully, even though they both won't be there anymore, our team will continue to benefit from them in the future."

Morgan said she plans to study exercise science.

Montevallo, a member of the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference, went 19-14 overall and 12-5 in conference play in 2019, advancing to the second round of the GSC tournament.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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