To be a champion in any sport, one has to set the bar high to always be as competitive as they can be. For Brevard College’s Erin Barr, setting the bar high has been in her blood.
Now a sophomore at Brevard, 2014 Starmount graduate Erin Barr finished the season with a school-record 993 assists. Her early success in her college career nearly parallels her success in high school. Barr worked throughout her freshman year to become the setter for the Rams, leading the team to one of two championships she and her team accrued during her time at Starmount, one in 2010, and the other in 2013.
“You don’t often run into someone who comes in as a freshman, wins the state championship and continues to get better,” Jon Symons, Barr’s high school head coach, said. “You just knew wherever she landed, success would follow her.”
Barr wasn’t the only successful player to come out of the 2013 team and continue to further their education and play sports at a high level. Barr is a player who has ground her way through the trials and tribulations of being a student-athlete to be one of the most successful volleyball players in Brevard history. For the season, the Hamptonville native finished sixth in the South Atlantic Conference in both assists and assists per set. Barr captained the offense to school records with 1,263 kills, 11.80 kills per set, and 1,184 total assists on the season.
Excellence has been, and will continue to be the standard Symons and the team will try to meet every season. There wasn’t a secret formula to success, as it was fairly obvious each member of the team, Barr especially, left it all out on the court.
“The one thing that’s always impressed me is the drive, the want to get better. The ‘I’m gonna show you’ type attitude,” Symons said. “There are times in timeouts and we come out of a timeout… there’d be times where I’d tell them, ‘Erin I don’t think you have the guts to drop it short on them,’ and she’d go out and do just that.”
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way. He made it like an atmosphere where it was cut-throat. It’s a very competitive atmosphere and that makes a player so much better,” Barr said.
One moment both Barr and Symons remember vividly came in 2010 on the eve of the state championship game.
“We were getting ready to play Northeastern in the state finals and we turned the lights out on the gym, and put a spotlight on everyone on what it means to them. She said it meant everything for her,” Symons said.
“That was my freshman year so that was pretty scary. It’s something you never forget and if I have kids, I’ll definitely want them to experience,” Barr said.
When Barr isn’t competing in a volleyball match, you’d be hard pressed to find her anywhere other than a court. Earlier this year, Barr assisted Symons during his annual summer camp teaching volleyball to children. With that, Barr has expressed interest in becoming a coach down the road.
“She’s one of the best players that’s come through, and you can see the person when she’s working with the younger kids at camp. She’s a good person. When she graduated, you knew just because of who she was that success would follow her life,” Symons said.
Erin Barr is the daughter of Lisa and Darwin Barr, and she has two brothers. Her oldest brother, Jake Barr, just graduated from Campbell University, while Alex Barr, 21, is finishing up school at Western Carolina University.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta. All statistics derived from BCTornados.com.