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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Barcenas breaks barriers

Christine Blaylock
Junior Alexandra Barcenas hits her 1,000th career setting assist in front of friends, family and fans.

After smoothly releasing the volleyball into the air, eager eyes watch as junior Sylvia Masiulionis pounds the perfectly set ball into the ground. Junior Alexandra Barcenas stood in the spotlight of the scene, with an ear-to-ear grin, taking in all the emotions of earning her 1,000th career setting assist. Following a lifetime of volleyball experience, it is achievements like this that push Barcenas to keep competing and strive for more successes in her future.

Barcenas has been playing volleyball for 11 years now, and has been a varsity starter at DGS for three of those. Ever since her freshman year, this had been a huge milestone she wanted to eventually hit.

“I felt super accomplished in this moment because I had finally reached something I desired for so long. During this time, everyone was cheering for me and celebrating my hard work, which made it even more special,” Barcenas said.

Head varsity coach Madisen Babich was the one who originally saw this long-term potential in Barcenas as a freshman; thus, pulling her up to fill a spot on the varsity roster.

Babich knew of Barcenas through mutual club coaches and her various public achievements such as ‘22 and ‘23 JVA Watchlist ‘25 and 2x AAU All Star. However, Babich hadn’t gotten the chance to see Barcenas play in-person until the summer leading up to her freshman year.

“I immediately knew there was something notable about her because she made an effort to attend every summer camp and clinic we hosted. When I watched her play at summer league, I loved the way she ran the court and took leadership even as an underclassmen. I remember thinking to myself, ‘this is someone I want on my squad,’” Babich said.

Babich knew going into the Addison Trail game on Sept. 26, that Barcenas was nearly three sets away from smashing this goal of hers. She took action and had the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams show their support by decorating the gym.

“Walking into the large gym and seeing all the cute balloons and streamers amidst being surrounded by smiles from my favorite people is a feeling I will never forget,” Barcenas said.

Barcenas is proud of herself and the long road she has endured to get to this point; however, she owes much of this accomplishment to her teammates and father.

“I seriously couldn’t have done it without them. My dad takes the time to sit down and watch film with me and pays for all of my volleyball camps. Similarly, my teammates from school and club always push me to be the best possible version of myself and keep my spirits high in times of need,” Barcenas said.

Barcenas has gone to multiple Division One camps that include Notre Dame, Purdue, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Vanderbilt. She loves to compete and gain experience at these high levels of volleyball because she hopes to play in college.

“I have no doubt in my mind that she will succeed at the next level. College ball is made for Barcenas, and it’s amazing that she is already prepping,” Babich said.

The Mustangs finished their season on Tuesday Oct. 24, losing to Glenbard East in their first playoff game. They ended with a record of 17-16 and placed third in conference.

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