Courtney Harnish doesn’t like the word “settle.”
Settling means being content. It means being finished.
Nothing Courtney does is ever quite done.
In elementary school, she was the kid who’d finish an hour-long assignment in 15 minutes and spend the other 45 reevaluating her answers. Perfection wasn’t just her goal—it was her expectation. It was her standard.
Thanh Harnish, her mother, remembers a parent-teacher conference in which Courtney’s kindergarten teacher predicted that she was going to struggle in school.
Courtney’s high standards have led her to a full academic scholarship, a walk-on position on the Indiana volleyball team, and a captain’s role as a senior.
“What?” Thanh asked, surprised. “She just started kindergarten. What could possibly be wrong?”
“She doesn’t know how to make mistakes,” the teacher said. “She won’t allow herself to.”
Courtney’s high standards have led her to a full academic scholarship, a walk-on position on the Indiana volleyball team, and a captain’s role in her senior year.
On the court, she starts every play. As a defensive specialist, Courtney is the one responsible for the first touch on defense. Her first move dictates whether or not Indiana can attack.
Get it right and Indiana stays in system. Get it wrong and everyone’s left scrambling.
“There’s definitely pressure that comes with it,” Courtney said. “The DS needs to put the ball in the right spot every play. Everything starts after that first touch.”
Courtney would rather her play go unnoticed. Defensive specialists don’t get the recognizable stats or highlight-reel scoring plays. Her job is to set her teammates up for success.
And she expects to every time. It’s the way Courtney is.