Sophomore Hailey Barrett has been a leader both on and off the court for the West Virginia University women’s tennis team since her freshman year. Now in her second spring season, Barrett has set her goals even higher.
Barrett and doubles partner junior Ikttesh Chahal were the Mountaineers top duo in spring 2013, posting a 7-13 record. But after a 1-2 start this season, these two players know it’s time to take all they learned during the fall 2013 season and claim the top pairing spot once again this season.
“The fall is a lot about individual aspects – working on your game and getting to play a lot of matches,” Barrett said.
The individual parts of the game are something that Barrett said she feels is key to preparing for success during her second spring season on this WVU squad, in both singles and doubles play. Through the first four spring matches, Barrett is 2-2 in singles play as she looks to top her 7-13 record from her freshman spring season.
This past fall, Barrett was 5-7 in both singles and doubles play and, although Barrett enjoys the fall preparation stages, the spring is when Barrett feels the true team aspect of tennis comes into play.
“The spring is longer, more intense and you get the team aspect,” she said.
After a standout freshman year, Barrett said she is not worried about falling into a sophomore slump this season as she believes her experience will help her throughout the season.
“(2013) was good, but I feel like I got a lot of experience from it, and I’m really excited to use that,” she said. “I don’t anticipate having a slump. I feel really good about my game right now and (I’m) just trying to improve the basics, improve what I learned last year.”
After four fall tournaments and 18 spring matches, Barrett said she understands the toll of having two back-to-back seasons can take on the team. However, she said she trusts if the team stays positive throughout the season, then everything will be OK.
“Definitely as a team, it (the season) gets tough in the middle and at the end, obviously,” she said. “As long as you stick together and work hard everyday, it makes it a lot of fun.”
Barrett and the Mountaineers will take on Richmond Friday at 12:30 p.m. in Norfolk, Va.