Chloe Johnson

(KMAland) -- Former Red Oak star Chloe Johnson has made a major impact for Briar Cliff volleyball in her first two seasons.

The former Tigers multi-sport standout is now solely focused on volleyball and is the leading hitter in her sophomore season for the Chargers.

“I do have to say this year has been a lot better,” Johnson told KMA Sports. “Freshman year was very hectic and just not how it’s been this year. I think the team and everyone kind of feels the same way, and it’s kind of shown in our playing.”

Johnson, who is averaging a team-best 2.38 kills per set, was the second-leading hitter for last year’s Briar Cliff squad. Even while the numbers have been impressive, Johnson says it wasn’t that easy adjusting to the collegiate level.

“It’s very hard,” she said. “The setter-hitter connection kind of takes a while. Just jumping into that and trying to figure it out and connect was really hard. We (eventually) got it done and even more so this year.”

Johnson adds it wasn’t an easy step to take going from high school right into college as a freshman, trying to establish herself as one of the top players and leaders on the team.

“Last year, I was kind of observing,” she said. “There was older people with bigger roles. I was kind of just going along, and this year I knew I had to step it up. It reminds me more of high school now. I just feel way more comfortable and more of a leader.”

Playing in the always difficult Great Plains Athletic Conference, Johnson’s team is still trying to build to the point where they can contend with the upper echelon teams in the league and nation. The Chargers are 7-13 overall and 1-8 in the GPAC.

“Our team is fairly young,” Johnson said. “I think, each year goes by we will get better and better. We will lose a couple people this year, but most of our team will be here. The conference is very hard, and we’re trying our best. I think we’ll just keep getting better.”

Johnson and Briar Cliff are back in action on Friday when they host Concordia. Listen to the full interview from Tuesday’s Upon Further Review linked below.

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