Cougars athlete excels in tennis, volleyball


Each time Courtney Barker steps on to a tennis court for a match, she thinks she needs to be at the top of her game.

The Trinity Lutheran senior plays at the No. 1 singles position, facing the best player from the opposing team each time out.

She is beginning her second season at No. 1 singles after playing No. 2 or No. 3 singles her freshmen and sophomore years.

“There is a big difference between playing No. 2 or No. 1,” Barker said. “It’s pretty important to win the first set.”

Barker said she prefers to play back at the baseline.

“I like to play in the back and hit the ball deep into the court,” she said. “I really don’t like to get up close to the net. I think it’s easier to stay back and wait on the ball.”

Barker tries to learn a lot about her opponent during warmups.

“I think that’s really important because when you warm up like that you’re able to know what she’s going to do during the match so you can prepare for that,” Barker said. “You also know her weaknesses so you can really exploit her weaknesses. There are some cases where girls like to warm up and not show their hardest hit.”

In the spring months, players make adjustments to the ever-changing weather.

“If you’re playing into the wind you have to hit it a lot harder or else it will just drop off short, but if you’re playing with the wind it will fly out-of-bounds, so it’s really important to know where the wind is at,” Barker said.

On the schedule, Barker prefers playing at home.

“I like the home matches because it has a ‘homey’ feel being on our court that we always practice on,” Barker said. “A lot of the other schools’ tennis courts are set up way different than ours, so it’s nice to play on the courts that we’re used to.”

Barker is looking forward to having winning record this season.

“I’m looking forward winning a lot of matches, and improving our record,” Barker said. “I’m looking forward to having fun with our team. We have some freshmen that came out this year so I think that will be fun to get to know everybody. It’s going to take a lot of hard work in practice.”

The senior also had to be at the top of her game in volleyball, as she was the Cougars’ setter the past four years.

“Communication is extremely important,” Barker said. “If there is no communication then really nothing works, and it’s especially important for setters because I have to know who to set the ball to and who is ready for the ball, or else we’ll lose every point.”

Barker said the Cougars changed their strategy from match-to-match.

“We would set up our defense differently for a certain team or I would set different types of sets, faster sets for better teams so that we could get the point quicker,” Barker said.

She said she felt like Trinity played a strong schedule for a Class A school.

“We added a lot of bigger schools, 3A and 4A,” Barker said. “I really liked playing at Brownstown. We hadn’t played there before, so it was kind of cool because I would always go to Brownstown games watching basketball and everything.

“The home matches were a lot of fun. We normally had a pretty big crowd that came out and supported us, which was very helpful because getting cheered on helps everything to flow better. Momentum was very important.”

When Barker was a freshman she played volleyball with her older sister, Mallory for one year. She also played with her cousin, Haylee, for two years.

“It was a lot of fun getting to play with my family because I had never gotten to do that before coming to Trinity because we were different ages,” Barker said. “It was fun, and also we were pretty good all four years. We won sectional all four years.”

Barker said she has enjoyed attending Trinity Lutheran.

“I’m very glad I came here,” she said. “Trinity has really prepared me for college, and it’s given me a lot of opportunities, such as harder classes, and the teachers are really helpful if you ever need help.

“Even athletics, even though we might not be the best team, we always have a lot of fun together being a smaller, closer-knit group. I like that it’s a Christ-centered school. That’s really going to help with the rest of my life.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Barker file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Courtney Barker

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Tim and Lisa Barker

Sibling: Mallory

Sports: Tennis, four years; volleyball, four years

Athletics highlights: Volleyball-4 sectional titles, all-county senior year, all-county honorable mention junior year, academic all-state senior year

Organizations: National Honor Society, arts club, student ambassador, culture team, events team

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUI, study nursing

Favorite food: Cake

Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”

Favorite music: Country

Favorite movie: “Sweet Home Alabama:

Favorite team: Indiana University


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