Chloe Price and Ellie Lampton have had a special bond on the volleyball court for the Siloam Springs Lady Panthers and their club team Ozark Juniors.
So it only made sense that the two wanted to be together when they signed to play volleyball at the next level.
Price and Lampton did just that on Wednesday.
Price, a setter, inked with Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, while Lampton, an outside hitter, made it official with John Brown after committing to the Golden Eagles back in the fall.
"We've been playing volleyball -- club and school -- together since I think I was 14," the soft-spoken Lampton said. "It was special for us to sign together since we've been playing together for so long."
Both players moved up to the Siloam Springs varsity at the beginning of their freshman season and played their first two years under longtime head coach Rose Cheek-Willis, who also is Price's aunt.
They spent the last two seasons coached by Joellen Wright and helped the Lady Panthers reach the state semifinals both years.
"I think they call each other their 'Volleyball BFFs,' that's what their little caption on Instagram has been through the years," Wright said. "It's super special."
Both Wright and Price referenced the the 2015 season when Price and Lampton were freshman and the Lady Panthers struggled to a 9-25 record overall.
"That ninth-grade year they got moved up into a sea of upper classmen, and you need somebody to cling to," Wright said. "That was the year we didn't win a whole lot, but it was a great dynamic group of girls, and they took them in, and I think Ellie and Chloe super bonded."
Price said before that freshman season she and Lampton weren't that close.
"Our bond grew closer going through that tough year, freshman year," Price said. "Me and Ellie just have that connection in volleyball."
Chloe to Ellie became a familiar refrain over the years for the Lady Panthers. Price racked up 1,679 career assists, many of which went to Lampton on the other end, who finished with 1,105 kills.
Both players were all-conference selections as sophomores and juniors, while Lampton also earned all-state honors in Class 6A as a junior.
Both Price and Lampton earned all-state honors as seniors as the Lady Panthers went 20-12 overall and 10-4 in the 5A-West. Both also were selected to play the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Volleyball Game in Conway in June.
When it came to playing college volleyball, Price and Lampton had originally hoped to be able to attend the same school even as a package deal and even took some recruiting trips together.
Instead though, Lampton committed to John Brown during the fall.
"Ever since I was little I told my dad I was going to go to JBU," Lampton said, "but I never thought it would be for volleyball too, so that's really exciting."
Price meanwhile recently committed to Coffeyville, which has won the last two NJCAA Division II national championships. Price said Coffeyville found her at a club tournament in Kansas City while they were watching her Ozark Juniors teammate Cait Hudgens of Bentonville. Coffeyvilel contacted Price and invited her to visit.
"I went and visited and fell in love," Price said.
Price is expected to have a chance to compete for a starting position running Coffeyville's 5-1 (one setter) offense.
"She has a chance to play for a national championship," Wright said. "I think that's huge for her. I think personally through the years seeing all those teams play for state championships here, she didn't get that opportunity. She is a dynamic leader and fun and she's going to bring her athleticism and competitive drive to the court. She's going to do a great job."Sports on 02/10/2019
Print Headline: Price, Lampton sign letters of intent