Bailey Jones enjoyed her finest season of tennis just when she should have – in her final season.
The Vandalia senior had 12 doubles wins – most coming with fellow senior Paige Ehrat – to finish second on the team, and included in her total were a win at the South Central Conference Tournament and a second-place finish at the Highland Doubles Tournament.
“Aggressiveness at the net makes a big difference,” said coach Kevin Schroeder. “With her’s and Paige Ehrat’s, that made them a good doubles team, which won the conference.”
Jones said that her final season was the most enjoyable one of her four-year career, and a lot of her success came because that she and Ehrat have been doubles partners since their freshman season.
And back then, they weren’t necessarily the star players they are today.
“My favorite memory, by far, is freshman year with Paige,” Jones said. “At Effingham, we were going for the same ball and ran into each and fell down.”
The duo lost that match but did score a couple of points, saving the further embarrassment of being skunked.
But Schroeder could see some budding potential in Jones that year, and was glad that she found success as a senior.
“As a freshman, I could tell that she had a lot of work to do,” Schroeder said. “Little-by-little, she improved as a sophomore and a junior to get into varsity matches.”
Jones said that Ehrat’s abilities also helped her be so successful, because each of their individual skill sets balanced out the other’s weaknesses.
“Paige and I really complement each other,” Jones said. “I am less competitive, but if she is better at something, I am weaker at it. If I am better at something, she is weaker at it.”
Jones is strongly considering attending Greenville College as a music major, and may consider trying to play tennis there. She plays the clarinet and served as a drum major for the marching band this fall.
She began playing music in fifth-grade and had no idea of her musical talents prior to that, but she has gotten to known many people in GC’s music program over the past couple of years, so she knows the school would be a good fit for her.
The Jones File
The Leader-Union's rapid-fire Q&A with Bailey Jones.
Nickname: Jailey Bones.
Parents: Dave and Cathy.
Pro athlete: Missy Franklin.
Food: Macaroni and cheese.
Movie: Pride and Prejudice.
TV show: Cake Boss.
Dream job: Be like Taylor Swift.