Spiking the Hype This Volleyball Season

Isabelle heading back to her position after completing a drill.

Paige Fisher, Writer, Photographer

Isabelle Barnes has already made leaps and bounds in her high school volleyball career, and yet she continues to improve. In addition to being one of the leading seniors for volleyball this year, she has also made the North Alabama All-Star team, and has already been contacted by several colleges.  She recently committed to UAH.  And even though the team graduated most of their starting line up this past year, the hype for this season is still evident because of such positive and determined players like Isabelle.

Many wonder what kind of time and practice goes into Isabelle’s sport to get to where she is now. “Every year we have summer practices and workouts four weeks out of the summer for about three and a half hours each day. We also have a team camp every year, and this year a man from Texas came to Bob Jones for three days […] I, personally, went to the elite camp at UNA […] I also took part in the volleyball all-star game […].” But her work does not end there; in addition to summer practices and camps, Isabelle and other fellow players participate in club volleyball.

Leadership is also a key trait that Isabelle not only has to have as an all-star player, but also as a leading senior this year. “We have five seniors on our varsity this year including me. I definitely think we are looked to as leaders this year […] However, everyone on our team is a leader in her own way.”

The “weight” of the team is not the only thing that falls on the players shoulders though, ranked as the #9 volleyball player in the state stress is a major day to day issue. “[…] We are working very hard to get to where we need to be. Personally, I am having more difficulty with stress this season than I have in seasons past just because I am a senior and I am putting pressure on myself to step up my game and be a good example for my teammates.”

It seems that college coaches are not the only coaches she has impressed, as Coach Marsh said that, “This is Isabelle’s third year on varsity. Isabelle is very athletic. She moves well and is a force on the net.” The importance of her position is noted as well. “Isabelle is a middle for us. In Isabelle’s position she would block all hitting attempts. Middle’s have to be quick so they can block and also be an option to attack.”

Even with the loss of so many graduated seniors, Coach Marsh said, “I think our team will improve over the course of the year. We are a new team so the chemistry will improve over the season.”

Though the outcome of this season has yet to be predicted clearly, it is clear that Isabelle will continue to stand out as a star player and will greatly help with keeping this season’s hype alive with her determination and immense talent for the game.