December 15, 2010 Edition

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Lady Bobcat Ashley Baker (center) signs her letter of intent to play volleyball at Crowley's Ridge College in Paragould. On hand for the signing were (front, from left): her grandmother, Katherine Thompson; her parents, Darryl and Pamela Baker; brother, Joshua Baker, holding Andrew Bennett; (back) WRHS assistant coach Shane Duncan, CRC head coach Cindy Henry, WRHS head coach Janna Berry and brother, Anthony Baker.

Baker to play volleyball for CRC

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

Walnut Ridge High School volleyball standout Ashley Baker has committed to play volleyball at Crowley's Ridge College in Paragould.

A 2010 All-State player, she was also nominated to the 2011 Volleyball All-Star Game. She was name All-Conference her freshman, junior and senior seasons, as well as being selected to the 2010 Hornet Classic All-Tournament Team.

"It was so exciting to coach Ashley in volleyball this year," WRHS head coach Janna Berry said. "She is a phenomenal player. She can do everything on the court.

As a senior, she finished the season with 86 kills and 214 digs. She served at 97 percent during her final season as a Lady Bobcat.

"She was one of the top defensive players in Northeast Arkansas," Berry said. "I had to use her also as an outside hitter, and she did great at that position as well. Like I said, she did it all."

CRC head coach Cindy Henry said she expects Baker to be a contributor to the team.

"Ashley is versatile and could come in and contribute immediately, most likely as a back-row player," Henry said. "She's quick and aggressive on the back row, and I like that."

Baker said she is looking forward to playing at the college level.

"I am not sure what I'll bring to them that they don't already have, but I am going to give 100 percent and benefit their team a little bit more," she said.

That dedication makes Baker a standout, according to Berry.

"Ashley is very competitive and gave a 110 percent in the games," Berry said. "Those are qualities in athletes that coaches can't teach, they just have to have it, and Ashley has it!"

Baker said she will miss being at WRHS.

"I had a really good year, and I am not really ready for it to come to an end," she said.

Berry said she is excited for Baker to be able to continue playing while furthering her education.

"I am very fortunate that I was able to have at least one year with Ashley," she said. "Ashley, her fellow seniors and her teammates did a fantastic job this season. We went 15-8 overall and won the Harrisburg tournament. I am very proud of them all."

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