Name: Mekana Denai Barnes
Position: Middle Blocker
Fun Fact: Oldest of five children – three younger brothers and
one younger sister
If Webster had a definition for middle blocker in the
dictionary, it would emphasize one who could dominate the net by
intimidating hitters with acrobatic stuffs, by hammering down quick
sets and finding defensive weak links with strategically placed
This position is all about reading the court and the opposing
attackers, a challenge for even the most experienced of players.
Nonetheless, watch a practice at Moby Arena and it is clear that
freshman Mekana Barnes has a natural intuition at this position.
She covers the net and reads players like she has been around that
block a time or two before.
This former Thunder Ridge Grizzly phenomenon totaled 184 blocks
last year, leading all 5A players. Additionally, in two instances,
Barnes racked up 15 stuffs in a single match to hang tough against
opponents. Barnes describes herself as “athletic, strong and
competitive,” but there is more to her than just volleyball
Barnes thrives on music, listening to rap and R&B. She also
enjoys watching music videos on TV if she ever has time to channel
Barnes does not really advocate a set hang out in Ft. Collins
… yet. She just likes to escape the sound of squeaking tennis
shoes on gym floors for a while – a sound that grates on her nerves
like nails on a chalkboard. Hanging out with friends and grabbing
some Chinese food (her grub of choice) is Barnes’ idea of the right
On the fashion front, Barnes holds a specific pair of sweats in
particularly high regard.
“People probably think it’s really gross, but I wash them and
wear them all the time,” Barnes said.
The Pasadena-born blocker also sports a belly button ring and
loves Cabo San Lucas, but probably will not get any other piercings
and does not have any desire to get a tattoo.
Speaking of ink, Barnes’ favorite book is “A Prayer for Owen
Meany” by John Iriving, a literary work steeped in religious
mysticism and symbolism. The class she looks most forward to
attending is her health and wellness course, taught by Patricia
“She will just say anything and I think it is really funny,”
Barnes said of Cost.
In the future, Barnes may put her intuitive powers and ability
to read people to use in some type of health profession. Until
then, she will have plenty of time to figure out her concrete
future aspirations as she serves as a strong building block on the
volleyball court, taking each day step by step.