Many athletes growing up dream of playing sports professionally. ISU senior Bailey Bars is working hard to turn her dreams into reality, but that reality may have to be put on hold for the time being, as Bars will not be able to compete for the rest of her senior season.
In the second volleyball game of the season, Bars tore her ACL after landing wrong coming down from an attack.
Her surgery is scheduled within the next month, and with a lengthy recovery time, she will be out the rest of the season.
“I still travel with my team,” said Bars. “I am trying to figure out how I can contribute in a different way.”
Bars continues to exercise her knee to keep it in as best shape as possible, and Bars is currently working on her medical redshirt for the 2017 season.
Bars has been playing for ISU for the past three years and started her fourth season as a right side hitter.
During her time at ISU, she has become an intimidating force on the court, even though she didn’t join the team her first year.
Bars was given a track and field scholarship her first year at ISU and was hopeful that she would be able to compete in track and field as well as volleyball, since the sports take place in opposing seasons. However, because of her scholarship, she was unable to join the volleyball team her first year.
“My freshman year I threw javelin,” said Bars.
This didn’t stop her from practicing with the volleyball team.
Throughout the 2012 season, Bars began practicing with current players and went to every open gym.
Bars has a large amount of dedication to her team, which she says is a second family, and is always looking for a way to help her teammates.
“I want my teammates to be the most successful they can be,” said Bars.
Bars has made many memories while on the team, including being a part of two different championships. While her love of volleyball has grown exponentially in the past four years, Bars began her love affair with the sport in fourth grade.
“My mom was a coach, and my older sister played, so I started playing in fourth grade,” said Bars.
Born in Grant’s Pass, Oregon, Bars started playing on her first team at New Hope Christian School in the sixth grade and with it, Bars found her first fans.
“My personal trainer is pretty confident in me,” said Bars.
Her trainer in Grant’s Pass, Harry Tate, has been training Bars since June 2016, and is extremely confident in her abilities and is optimistic for her future.
Tate retains an impressive record in sports as well, and competed in the modern pentathlon in 1984. The pentathlon includes fencing, shooting, swimming, riding and cross country running.
Many people from Grant’s Pass, including Tate, believe in Bars’ dream to one day compete in the Olympics in beach volleyball for Team USA.
If she doesn’t join the Olympic team, Bars dreams of playing volleyball professionally.
While playing professional volleyball, Bars’ goal is to travel the world, including hot spots such as Italy, Paris, Germany and Tokyo.
While working towards her goal, Bars is continuing to support her team any way that she can. She is also participating in a dietetics internship, and plans on going back to school to earn her masters in sports nutrition.
Bars has been working diligently since the fourth grade to become the best volleyball player she can, and does not plan on letting anything stop her any time soon.