Westminster's Alex Bailey on 38-match winning streak
By Jeff Vella
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 11:22 p.m.
Nobody defeats Westminster tennis player Alex Bailey anymore. Nobody, that is, except her dad.
It's nothing to be ashamed of. Bill Bailey, a 6-foot-7 left-hander, also played at Westminster and went on to compete in national tournaments. Alex, however, said she's closing the gap on her 48-year-old father.
“I've never beaten him,” said Bailey, a Franklin Regional graduate. “I have a feeling it's going to happen soon. It's definitely one of my goals. If I do beat him, he'll have the excuse that he's getting older.”
For now, Bailey is more concerned with continuing a superb senior season in which she's 13-0 at first singles and first doubles for the unbeaten Titans. In singles, she has lost only one set and has won 144 of 168 games. Dating to her sophomore year, she has won 38 consecutive matches.
“She's a perfectionist,” Westminster coach Scott Renninger said. “She doesn't have a dominant serve or dominant power, but she's extremely consistent. It doesn't matter if it's close or not, she's focused.”
Renninger, whose coaching background is primarily in football, credits Bill Bailey with Alex's development. Alex is the oldest of three tennis-playing sisters, and they've spent countless hours training with their father.
“I can't even remember how young I was when I started playing,” she said. “We were on the courts almost every day. He taught me the mental aspect of the game, that even if you're losing, you have to keep your focus.”
Alex hasn't dealt with a loss since dropping a three-setter in the Presidents' Athletic Conference tournament semifinals Oct. 22, 2010. And that came with an injured ankle.
Since then, the wins keep coming, and she's cemented her place atop the Westminster record books.
Her 63 career singles wins are tied for first all-time, and her 63 doubles victories are No. 1.
“I can't lie, it's nice to win all these matches,” Bailey said.
Setting the singles record won't come easy. Bailey faces Upper St. Clair graduate Amanda Gans of St. Vincent (12-0) on Friday.
“I'm really nervous for Friday,” said Bailey, who beat Gans in three sets last year.
“It would mean a lot to finish the season unbeaten. I can't think about the win streak. Then I'll get too overconfident and lose my focus.”
Jeff Vella is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jokinen takes center stage as fill-in for Pens’ Malkin
- Pitt slows down Loyola Marymount, 85-68
- For Steelers defense, it’s all a matter of trust
- Steelers notebook: Woodley expects to start Sunday vs. Dolphins
- Fans of former conservative radio hosts Quinn, Tennent support toy drive
- Long-overdue memorial to region’s World War II vets opens
- Latrobe couple accused of using car trunk to end son’s fear of the dark
- High school basketball roundup: Top-ranked Elizabeth Forward wins opener
- Penguins notebook: Malkin to miss 2nd straight game Saturday
- Roundup: Apple wants Samsung to pay $22M for legal bills; FDA approves breakthrough hepatitis C drug; more
- Greensburg Diocese’s school chief out