ALTON – Allie Lively and Brooke Barker have been doubles partners in girls' tennis for four years. Recently, the tandem finished third in the Robert Logan Invitational Tournament in Alton. Lively and Barker are CM's No. 1 doubles team.
The Fifth Annual Robert Logan invitational saw some amazing doubles competition. Civic Memorial was one of the schools in the special tournament hosted by the Alton Redbirds. The only match the strong Eagles doubles team lost in the Robert Logan Invite was in the semifinals to the future champions of the tournament, Triad High School. Despite a tough loss to the Knights, the girls would bounce back strong and finish the tournament with a third-place victory.
The Lively and Barber combination is one of the Tom Lane Civic Memorial Female Athletes of the Month.
Barker said she and Lively have "so much fun playing together!"
In their four years together, the veteran Eagles team experienced two tennis seasons plagued by COVID-19. COVID had a lot of negative impacts on high school tennis. However, some small positives came from this time.
“We have made our own little handshakes that we do. Last year we were not allowed to high-five because of COVID, so we just touched feet instead and it stuck," Barker said.
The collaborative ability to turn negatives into positives is what makes Lively and Barker not only good doubles partners but also best friends.
“I came from a private school. Tennis allowed me to get to know people like Brooke. They were the first people that I know from my class and tennis helped bring us together," Lively said.
While their friendship remained certain, the previous two seasons for the girls brought much ambiguity. “Yeah, you know during COVID, we did not have a huge shift because tennis is an outside sport, but this year is different than the previous two,” said Lively. Barker would piggyback on her partner's words, “It’s way more exciting than last year!” Perhaps it was the excitement coming back and a returning sense of normalcy that helped fuel the Eagles team to their strong finish at the Robert Logan Invitational.
With their senior years and the girls' tennis season marching along, what a future in tennis holds for the two Eagle players is also different. After high school is over, Barker plans to hang up the racquet and dedicate her time to college classes. Meanwhile, Lively plans to keep playing tennis for her college’s club tennis team.
“I’ll be trying to play club tennis," she said. "College will be such a new and big environment that hopefully, I’ll be able to make some friends in club tennis.”
There is much tennis and memories in the rearview mirror for the two seniors, but there is still tennis to be played in their final season. To catch Civic Memorial tennis and their number one doubles team in action, please visit the link below for their full-team schedule below: