Ellie Ezekiel was one of the best players in Delaware County – and the state, for that matter – during her junior year at Garnet Valley.
The 5-7 All-Delco and All-State pick displayed her versatility for the Central League regular-season champion Jaguars. She played bigger than her size would suggest, and she was as good defensively as she was offensively. Perhaps no player in Delco was as versatile as she was.
And it paid dividends for the Jaguars, as they were the most balanced team in the county heading into district play and looked primed for a trip to the state tournament.
Until they weren’t anymore. Ezekiel tore the ACL against Downingtown West, and Garnet Valley was bounced from the district tournament in the next round against Hatboro-Horsham.
Fortunately for head coach Mark Clark and unfortunately for, well, every team on the Jaguars’ schedule, Ezekiel looks to be back up to her old tricks.
“She’s looking really good in practice,” Clark said. “She’s jumping, which is obviously a pretty big thing with the injury. She’s hitting the ball well, she’s jumping well, she’s doing pretty much everything well and the way she used to. She can’t do sprints yet, but we don’t do those often. They’re usually only in case you do something wrong, so if she does something wrong, she does pushups or situps.”
That’s terrific news for Clark, Ezekiel and Garnet Valley as they try to claim the regular season title and turn the tides on Strath Haven in the Central League title game. Staff writer Terry Toohey will have more on Ezekiel and the Jaguars in his volleyball season preview in a few weeks, but it’s good to know that the senior’s recovery is going according to plan.
- MATT CHANDIK