POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River volleyball coach Haley Chatham has significantly bolstered her 2020 roster with the addition of Diamond Jones.
The Wildcats announced Tuesday they have signed Jones, who is transferring to PRCC after spending her freshman season at Wallace State-Hanceville.
Jones joins the Wildcats after earning All-Alabama Community College Conference honors as a freshman. With Wallace State, Jones was among the ACCC's most dangerous attackers. The 5-foot-8 middle blocker and outside hitter ranked second in the ACCC in kills per set (3.54), third in points per set (3.9) and fourth in hitting percentage (.285).
Her 389 total kills were also good enough for third in the league.
"Diamond is well trained and comes from great club and high school programs," Chatham said. "She has an extremely high volleyball IQ and will add some serious pop to our attack and versatility to our lineup."
When Jones initially signed with Wallace State, she said she wanted to get away from home and "enjoy college."
"Then I realized that wasn't really the decision for me," she said
That decision prompted Jones to explore transferring. She remembered playing PRCC twice, and Chatham's recruitment of her in high school. Once she gave it more thought, Jones said the decision was obvious.
"I realized her way of recruitment of me from high school was amazing. She interacted with me, watched me play, cheered for me and didn't even know me. When she approached me she was all smiles and was positive," Jones said. "I went to Wallace and played but I just felt like it wasn't for me. I watched them play and their chemistry for a first-time program was ridiculous. I loved their energy. I was sitting on our bench thinking, man, I wish that was us.
"You could tell they're really close outside of volleyball."
Jones enrolled at PRCC for the spring semester and is participating in the team's offseason program.
"She has already showed that she's really determined to come here and make a difference," Chatham said.
Jones has only been at PRCC for a month, but she's already encouraged by her move.
"I came down here, met the girls and my first day was amazing. Everybody's amazing. I love the campus," she said. "Coach Chatham pushes me to work harder even though I'm a star athlete. She pushes me beyond measures. She knows what I'm capable of and pushes me to be great."
Jones hails from Gonzales, Louisiana and played at East Ascension High along with the Red Storm Volleyball Club before signing with Wallace State.
At EAHS, Jones was a two-time district offensive MVP, earned All-Metro honors twice and was also named All-State and to the Louisiana All-Star game.
Jones joins an incoming class that also includes prep signees Paige Davis (Vancleave), Avery Beth Durdin (Lewisburg), Payton McKerchie (Vancleave) and Chloe Paske (St. Martin).
LOOKING BACK, AHEAD
The Wildcats won nine matches in their debut season in '19, playing teams from Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. PRCC won't have to go as far in '20 to fill out its schedule with MACJC schools Itawamba and Northwest following Pearl River's lead and adding volleyball.
Pearl River volleyball adds impact transfer
Posted: Feb 04, 2020