FAYETTEVILLE -- Former Franklin County rivals Nia Richardson and Journee Hartsfield are now teaming together as members of the Fayetteville State University volleyball squad -- and with great success.
Richardson and Hartsfield were part of the Broncos' team that won the 2019 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association's Volleyball Tournament Championship this past season.
In the finals, the Broncos swept Shaw University in three sets in Salem, Virginia, to claim the crown.
Richardson, a sophomore defensive specialist who prepped at Franklinton, played in all three sets and came through with one kill, four aces, three digs and two assists.
Hartsfield, a freshman setter from Louisburg HS, competed in one set and offered a pair of assists.
The victory qualified the Broncos for the NCAA Division II Tournament, and they were topped by Wheeling in the opening round of action.
Despite the disappointing loss, it was a spectacular season for Fayetteville State as Hartsfield and Richardson helped the Broncos compile an impressive 19-7 overall record.
Richardson was a mainstay in Fayetteville State's lineup as she took part in all 26 of the club's matches. She finished with nine kills, 19 assists and 25 aces.
Hartsfield was active in 20 of the matches, starting once. She contributed 128 assists (third on the team) to go with six kills and 11 aces.
With another year of experience, Hartsfield and Richardson will look to continue to make a positive impact in 2020 as the Broncos attempt to defend their CIAA Championship.
Richardson and Hartsfield are long-time friends and foes and have known each other since they were youngsters. Richardson prepped at Franklinton under Coach Crystal Barnes, while Hartsfield excelled at Louisburg High School under Coach Erica Wammock.
Richardson signed with Fayetteville State two years ago after wrapping up her star-studded career at Franklinton, and Hartsfield signed to join her last year after graduating from LHS.