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Lexi Wallen excels in two-sport role for ISU

Written by on March 20, 2019

NORMAL – It’s quite an accomplishment to play one sport at the Division I level, let alone two sports.

After serving as an outside hitter for Redbird Volleyball, Lexi Wallen stayed on the court and joined the basketball team. She walked onto the team in the middle of the season after she found out about an open spot on the squad. It was an easy decision for Wallen after staying away from the game for too long.

“I played in high school and I loved the game of basketball,” said Wallen. “I’ve always missed it.”

Wallen’s family was excited that she would be on the court for the first time since making the decision to play volleyball in college.

“My family’s a basketball family at heart,” said Wallen.

As a member of the volleyball team, Wallen appeared in 95 matches, 274 sets, and tallied 387 kills. Her senior season was one for the books: a 9-0 record at home that included an upset of #25 UNI on Senior Night, an MVC co-conference championship, and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Before she took advantage of the opening on the basketball team, Wallen did just the same to earn more playing time that began against Valparaiso.

“She’s been grinding in practice. That’s someone that will outwork you every single day,” said Head Coach Leah Johnson. “You don’t just get in our program, you earn time. And with an opportunity open, Lexi I think proved all week that she was ready.”

Wallen subbed in at the end of the fourth set and her only serve was a service ace that won the match for ISU.

On the basketball team, She made her debut against Northern Kentucky in the second quarter and after picking up a foul, she scored her first basket of her collegiate career. The forward went on to play in 22 games for ISU, starting in 5 of them, and scored 130 points.

In the MVC semifinal against Drake, Lexi scored 13 points to keep ISU in the game. Even though ISU’s season came to an end, the Redbirds could be back on the court next season with Lexi Wallen.

“There will be a conversation,” said Wallen.

Wallen will graduate with a degree in biology and a lasting impact on Redbird Athletics.

Anthony Ferretti contributed to this story.

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