Girls volleyball: Barrington hitters Paris, Horwath, make elite national rankings

  • Barrington High School sophomores Campbell Paris, left, and Jessica Horwath have been named to Prep Volleyball's Top 150 list of best players in the country.

    Barrington High School sophomores Campbell Paris, left, and Jessica Horwath have been named to Prep Volleyball's Top 150 list of best players in the country. COURTESY MELISSA PARIS

  • Barrington High School sophomore volleyball player Campbell Paris

    Barrington High School sophomore volleyball player Campbell Paris COURTESY MELISSA PARIS

  • Barrington High School sophomore volleyball player Jessica Horwath

    Barrington High School sophomore volleyball player Jessica Horwath COURTESY OF MELISSA PARIS

 
 
Updated 9/16/2020 9:14 AM

The high school volleyball season may have been pushed to the spring due to COVID-19, but there is some big news coming out of the Barrington volleyball program right now.

Sophomore hitters Campbell Paris and Jessica Horwath, childhood friends and longtime teammates in all kinds of sports, were both placed on Prep Volleyball's Top 150 list of best players in the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Only seven players from Illinois made the list, which also includes fellow Mid-Suburban League West standouts Rian Baker and Rylen Reid, juniors from Fremd.

Paris and Horwath, who both started on varsity last year as freshmen, are hoping to be able to lead the Fillies on a big run in the spring of 2021.

The two give Barrington a pair of unusually tall outside hitters. Paris is 6-foot-3 while Horwath is 5-11.

"We have all of our returning starters from last year," Paris said. "I think we have the potential to do some really great things."

The Fillies went 19-18 last year and suffered a heartbreaking 3-set loss in the regional championship match to Libertyville. They are hungry to get back at it and make amends, but have to settle for limited team workouts for now.

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"It's been different not having a season right now, but we're having our contact days as a team and we are glad about that," Horwath said. "There are still a lot of ways for us to get better each day and that's what we're doing."

Both Paris and Horwath spend a lot of time each day on volleyball, with their personal trainers and their club team, as well as with their high school team, and on their own. But their obsession is newfound.

Basketball and soccer were the girls' first loves.

That's how they met, playing on travel and feeder basketball and soccer teams together for many years through elementary school.

"Since we were 7 years old, we've been playing multiple sports together," Paris said. "It was a lot of basketball and soccer, then in middle school, we tried volleyball. Volleyball is just so fun and it's such a great team sport. You feel like you're with a big family when you play together. I think we both liked that and I think we both liked how competitive volleyball is."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Paris and Horwath dove head first into volleyball in seventh grade and steamed full-speed ahead. They've played on a club team for Sky High that made the nationals. And by the time high school came along, they had made a clear case for spots in the varsity starting lineup during preseason summer camp, long before their first game.

"We had gotten a lot of experience playing club for Sky High," Horwath said. "We trained really hard with strength training and vertical work, and we played a lot of games with club. The hard work paid off.

"It was kind of surprising to become starters right away as freshmen, because we had a ton of seniors. But everyone was so welcoming and Campbell and I just kind of stepped into our roles."

Both Paris and Horwath are already receiving all kinds of college attention, from the Big Ten to the Pac-12.

They think it's fun to be going through this experience together, especially since they've shared most sports experiences throughout their lives.

"We've always been super close playing all those sports together but I think we've gotten even closer through volleyball," Paris said. "We like to push each other and make each other better.

"It was really exciting to be on that Top 150 team. But it was even more exciting to see Jess's name on there, too."

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