Spain Park sweeps John Carroll for area win

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HOOVER – Following a 3-2 record at the Juanita Boddie Invitational, the Spain Park Jaguars went back to work on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and in front of the home crowd for the first time this season, the Jags showed why they are one of the best 7A classification teams with a straight set 3-0 over area foe John Carroll.

The Jags won each set by no less than 11 points with set victories of 25-11, 25-14 and 25-6 over the Cavaliers to improve to 5-2 early in the season.

In the opening set of the match, Spain Park’s Paris Morris showed why she is one of the best players in the state this year. Once on serve, she was able to reel off two consecutive aces and three strong serves in a row as part of a 7-0 run that saw the Jaguars take a quick 10-1 lead.

That gave the Jags all the confidence they needed in the set, eventually taking a 16-5 lead and 19-9 lead. Holding close to a 10-point lead throughout the first set, Spain Park to win six of the final seven points played in the set to pick up an easy 25-11 victory to kick start the match.

The Jags closed the opening set out with a strong service game from Jessica Veal and a great kill from Kindall Irwin.

Veal carried her momentum at the service line into the second set and helped the Jags jump out to a dominant 11-0 advantage.

John Carroll ended up winning its first point following that to make it 11-1 but still had an uphill battle. The Cavaliers continued to battle back and eventually cut the deficit to 14-8 at one point during the set, but that’s as close as they were able to get the rest of the way.

Spain Park went on to win seven of the next 10 points to take a 21-11 lead. John Carroll cut the Jaguars’ lead to less than 10 points at 21-12, but couldn’t sustain a run as the Jags pulled away for the 25-14 set victory and a 2-0 match lead.

With their backs now against the wall needing to win three consecutive sets to take the match, the Cavaliers had a tough hole to dig out of, and it got even more difficult with Veal stepping back to the service line to kick off the third set.

She put together another strong service game, while Morris put together three kills in a stretch of four consecutive points for the Jaguars. That duo led to a 9-0 advantage in the early going of the third frame.

While John Carroll then won two consecutive points to make it 9-2, the Jaguars put together their best run of the night after that and eventually went up 23-5 behind a 14-3 run.

Spain Park closed it out shortly after that to take the third set 25-6 to complete the straight-set victory.

With the win, the Jags improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in area play.