Girls tennis player of the year: Barrett emphasizes confidence, focus

Girls tennis player of the year: Barrett emphasizes confidence, focus


Girls tennis player of the year: Barrett emphasizes confidence, focus


You can count on two hands the matches that Hailey Barrett has lost during her high school career.

That dominance continued as the senior compiled a 25-2 record during her final season at Grand Ledge High School this spring and earned Lansing State Journal player of the year honors for the second time in three years.

“She’s easily the hardest worker I have ever had,” Grand Ledge coach Mike Richey said, “and she was great at helping her teammates get better.”

Barrett again won CAAC Blue and regional titles, and was the third seed in the Division 1 state tournament. Her only losses came against No. 1 seed Mary Hanna of Saline at the Midland Dow Quad and No. 2 seed Katie Brozovich of Clarkston in the state semifinals by a score of 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

“I came out really confident. I really wanted to win the semifinal match,” Barrett said. “I came out playing well, but lost a little focus. She gained momentum, it went back and forth, came down to end and she won. I played her a few times in USTA tournaments, and usually had beaten her before, but every day is a new day and she won that day.”

Barrett also reached the state semifinals as a freshman, the Division 1 championship match as a sophomore, and the quarterfinals a year ago.

“I knew it was going to be a tough year because all of the other great players in the area,” she said. “I had to work hard to achieve my goals of going to states again and doing my best there.”

Barrett committed prior to the season to attend and play for West Virginia University.

“I’m really excited about going to the next level, but I had my own goals this season and they didn’t have much to do with going to college,” she said. “My goals were about working points, staying focused, staying concentrated, and keeping intensity through the whole match.”

Her most memorable 2012 match was a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win over Okemos senior Irene Ng in the CAAC Blue first flight singles championship match, where Barrett rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the third set.

“We’re such good friends, she’s a great competitor, and we always have good matches,” Barrett said. “The intensity of it was exceptional. It was a really good match.”

Barrett qualified for state finals as an individual after her Grand Ledge came up five points short of the 18 points needed to advance as a team.

“We got really close,” she said. “It’s too bad we couldn’t get a few more points.”

Hailey’s father, Mark, coaches the boys team at Grand Ledge.

“He’s definitely not my coach, but all of his support and advice has been really helpful,” she said.

Barrett says she has “enjoyed very minute” of her high school career.

“I want to thank my coaches, trainers, and whole support system for helping me through the years,” she said.

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