Monica Johnson’s collegiate volleyball career was never a means to a professional end.
Granted, the 2012 Niceville alumna’s two years as an outside hitter for Liberty were impressive, a staple of the Flames’ 36-26 record and 21-7 mark in Big South Conference competition.
That talent parlayed into a decorated two-year career with Mercer, which witnessed the 6-foot-1 playmaker rack up 162 kills, 43 blocks and 184 points her senior year.
It was a solid close to a career, she thought. Now time to face the prospects of the “real world,” her major in communication studies and minor in business administration setting up internship and job possibilities.
Yet the senior’s swan song in volleyball isn’t done. The All Sports Association recently ensured that.
Johnson was selected for the Female Collegiate Award, an honor she’ll be awarded Feb. 12 at the annual Banquet at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.
“I was kind of shocked,” Johnson said. “I didn’t really think anything was going to happen. My college career was good, but I didn’t think it was anything too impressive. That just wasn’t my mindset, not until I got the call and the news.”
Of course Johnson’s always been a part of the All Sports Association – in an indirect way.
Her dad, Bernard, is on the ASA Board of Directors and currently serves as the vice president.
“Growing up I always thought that one day it would be really cool to win something,” said Johnson, who was a runner-up for the Female Scholastic Award during high school. “But I really didn’t understand what it was all about. Then I went one year and realized the magnitude of it.”
“It’s definitely humbling. I still feel shocked. When I hear another name that’ll be there, I’m like ‘Wow.’ ”