By Adam Reed
Nov. 11, 2015
Junior tennis player Megan Humphreys and head coach Frank Barnes were named WIAC women’s tennis player and coach of the year for 2015.
It was the second year in a row Humphreys was named the player of the year. Barnes has now won the award in seven of his 12 seasons since taking over as head coach for the women’s team.
In addition to being player of the year, Humphreys earned All American honors for her third consecutive year, after winning the United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Region No. 1 singles championship.
The team was recently ranked 26th in the nation to begin the year and find themselves at 26th in the latest edition of the ITA Division III Rankings. Humphreys was ranked at fifth in singles nationally in that same edition.
All of these accolades come following a 2015 fall campaign in which both Humphreys and Barnes were huge contributors in the Warhawks claiming its ninth straight conference title, and pushing its in conference win streak to 70. Humphreys finished with a personal record of 19-2.
“I’m really happy with how this year ended up,” Humphreys said. “We had a really good conference season…Individually, winning the ITA and getting a chance to play down in South Carolina again [at the National Small College Championship] was a big goal of mine.”
Humphreys said while her own individual performance has improved this year, it is her role as a leader that has been the biggest change from last year. Humphreys was voted in by her peers as a captain on the team along with senior Ashley Miller.
“I think since I’ve been given that responsibility [of being a captain] it has made me more aware of what I’m doing, just knowing that I have teammates that look up to me,” Humphreys said. “I’ve grown a lot with maturity on the court and everything.”
Humphreys’ growth as a leader has been impressive, and has only helped her individual game, which he claims is continuing to improve year to year, according to Barnes.
“I think it’s pretty rare that a junior be elected as a captain,” Barnes said. “I think that says a lot about her. She’s putting in more time, she’s taking the community relations piece to heart, and making sure that all the underclassmen realize the commitment that they need to have not only the season but during the offseason.”
Humphreys had similar praise for her coach upon hearing that he had been recognized as the coach of the year yet again, stating that the award, “speaks for itself”.
“Frank [Barnes] is just a great guy all around,” Humphreys said. “We know that we can go to Frank for anything, and he’s always looking out for us. I think that he just has the right mindset.”
Barnes said it is difficult to tell just who is doing the best job coaching, citing administrative support, assistant coaching, talent, and good fortune as huge variables in the process.
“I try not to get caught up in coaching awards and give credit to the players,” Barnes said. “The winning coaches typically get the awards…There’s so many things that go into winning that I try not to get caught up in it myself and give all the accolades to the team and the sports staff around me.”