Sean Bailey (Courtesy: B Sparn/APSU)
An undefeated season in Ohio Valley Conference play at No. 1 singles led to junior Sean Bailey, of the Austin Peay State University men’s tennis team, being named first-team All-OVC and the earning the OVC Men’s Player of the Year honor.
Bailey moved to No. 1 singles after opening the season with four straight wins at No. 2. For the junior Canadian, the promotion was overdue. He dropped his first match against No. 71 Georgia State and finished the season unbeaten in his last 14 matches, including an 11-match win streak entering the conference tournament.

He was perfect in league play, going 7-0 as part of 15-2 dual-match record. He finished 9-2 at No. 1 singles and 6-0 at No. 2 singles. In doubles, Bailey teamed with and mentored Ristovski, compiling a 9-9 mark at No. 1 doubles, winning five of eight during OVC play. It is the third All-OVC honor for Bailey, being named second-team All-OVC as a freshman and first-team All-OVC as a sophomore.

“Sean has a great dedication to the game,” head coach Malik Tabet said. “He’s very deserving with the tremendous amount of work he put in to achieve what he did this year. When he came in, he had very little match experience and that has improved the most this year. It proves that hard work and studying the game will pay off.

“I showed him a video of his freshman year and he couldn’t believe how much has improved. His strategy and his demeanor have all improved so much in a three-year span.”

This marks the seventh time an APSU player was named OVC Men’s Player of the Year. Noel Phillips (1973, 1974) and Gary Boss (1976, 1977) each earned the award twice. Hal Jolley (1981) and Carlos Claverie (1983) were the last two Govs awarded.