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July 3, 2014

Barnes leaves Tarleton with long list of accolades

DUNCAN — Melanie Barnes, daughter of Duncan girls tennis coach Phil Barnes and a Duncan High School graduate, leaves Tarleton State University with her own place in school history after four successful years.

Barnes, who was a two-time state runner-up in high school, was a four-time All-Conference selection for the Texanns. She also won The Lone Star Conference Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Player of the Year twice, in her sophomore and junior years.

Despite the individual awards, one of her biggest accomplishments was her consistency. Barnes finished with a 55-24 record in singles and a 51-26 record in doubles, and never had a losing record in either in each of her four years.

“There were definitely low points mentally, but you have to fight through it,” Barnes said. “You know you love tennis. You work for it, but you don’t always feel like, ‘This is exactly what I want to be doing right now.’

“There were many times I wasn’t playing well or battling injuries, and it was my mentality that won me a match, not how well I was playing.”

Barnes’ high school success helped lead to that. She was put in some big matches, with Duncan finishing as state runner-up three times in Class 5A while she was there.

Still, Barnes said it was a big jump going to college.

“I was not prepared for the level of play,” Barnes said. “In high school, you usually play high-level players maybe in the semifinals but mainly in the finals of tournaments. In college every match you play is really tough in that there is always a high level there. You very rarely get an easy match.”

Barnes looks forward to playing tennis for the rest of her life and is proud of what she accomplished in her four years at Tarleton.

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Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

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