E.A. Sports Today

Too close for comfort

Ohatchee’s Crook helps North volleyball stars win AHSAA All-Star Game, a thrilling five-set victory Crook called ‘a little bit too close for comfort’

By East Alabama Sports Today

MONTGOMERY – Bryant Ginn is a basketball guy, but he was so looking forward to watching Jorda Crook play in the AHSAA North-South Volleyball All-Star Game Thursday night. And Crook didn’t disappoint.

Ginn, the Ohatchee basketball coach, was in the stands at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex to watch his rising senior forward help the North get off to a good start before holding off the South 3-2.

The North won the first two sets 25-20, 25-18 with Crook delivering five kills in seven attempts during her time on the floor. The South won the next two sets 25-21, 25-23 to tie the match before the North won the tiebreaker 15-11.

“I think she raises her game when she plays against top competition,” Ginn said. “When she plays against great players she raises her level. That’s why I was kind of looking forward to this just to see her play against the best of the best the state’s got. I thought she was the MVP of the North.”

That distinction went to Emily Breazeale. The Spain Park middle hitter had a double-double with 14 kills (five in the fifth set) and 10 digs and scored the clinching kill in the tiebreaker. Crook had 12 kills (two in the fifth set), two digs, two blocks and .375 attack percentage.

“I think I played good,” Crook said. “There’s always room for improvement; I think I could have played better. It was a very good opponent, we played good people. I think we did good overall. I think I did pretty decent. I’m very glad I played.”

Jacksonville’s Caitlin Clark played in three sets for the North. She had two aces among her nine serves and a dig.

The South MVP was Ellie Pace. The Auburn outside hitter played every second of the five-set match and had 14 kills and eight digs.

The North team was coached by East Limestone’s Nicole Eslick and former Donoho coach Jamie Clendenin, now the head coach at Sylacauga.

North  25  25  21  23  15
South  20  18  25  25  11
Kills – North: Emily Breazeale 14, Jorda Crook 12, Savannah Gann 10; South: Ellie Pate 14, Hannah Jones 11, Haley Patterson 10. Assists – North: Ariel Fuqua 31, Ashlyn Power 13; South: Addison Cherry 37. Digs – North: Emily Breazeale 10; South: Ellie Pate 8.

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