Peninsula High senior Allie Barry has only lost one match in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League this season, to Sumner freshman phenom Jade Lancaster. Cruising past opponents has simply become par for the course for Barry, who went to the 3A state tournament last year and figures to qualify again this season.
“I’m just hoping to play well, win or lose,” Barry said. “I just want to walk off the court and say, ‘I’m happy with how I played.’”
Barry strained her back in districts last season and wasn’t at full strength at state. This year, she’s hoping no setbacks occur.
“I think it just took a little confidence away from me doing well,” she said. “I’m excited my back is better this year.”
Barry’s been working on her serve, which has been an area of emphasis with assistant coach Ian Skidmore.
“From last year, to this year, she’s got it down,” Skidmore said. “She’s starting to understand it. She’s getting a little more, making it more of a weapon.”
Skidmore said Barry’s second serve has been what has hurt her. The two are working to make that an area of strength before the postseason rolls around.
“We’re working on a kick serve that will put her opponent in a little bit more of a defensive position, as opposed to taking advantage of her,” Skidmore said. “Right now, she’s still not comfortable. She needs to put more time into it to where she can feel confident with it. If you have a good second serve, you can really let loose with your first serve. She’s doing that. She’s doing really well.”
While quality competition can be scarce in high school tennis, Barry practices with members of her family to make sure she’s continuing to play at a high level. Placing in the top 8 at state would be a dream come true, Barry said.
“That would be awesome,” she said. “That would be incredible.”
Through more than three full seasons in high school tennis, Barry has seen at all. She’s hoping that experience will translate into wins late in the season.
“In her senior year, she understands what it takes against the best players,” Skidmore said. “She’s ready for it. At state, I’d really like to see her play the best. If she can place in state, that’d be fantastic. That’d be really positive for her. But I think what she needs to look at is to play her best, compete well and know that she put everything on the table.”