INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Brandon Bayliss, who went undefeated in Horizon League play at No. 1 singles, was voted Horizon League Men's Tennis Player of the Year. He was also named first team All-Horizon League.
Bayliss, a native of Sheboygan, Wis., becomes the first Bulldog to be named player of the year since James Low in 2006.
Bayliss went 7-0 at No. 1 singles against Horizon League opponents this season, posting a 17-14 singles record during the regular season. He won his last eight singles matches and nine of his last 10.
"He really deserved it after finishing the year undefeated in conference play at No. 1," head coach Jason Suscha said.
Bayliss also went 15-17 in doubles play, playing mostly at No. 2 doubles with senior Lenz Theodor.
Other first team all-league players included Yannick Goossens and Rob Fox of Cleveland State, Alex Raa from UIC, Jan Alafriz from Wright State and Tariq Ismail of Youngstown State. Green Bay's Mark Thomas was tabbed coach of the year.
The Bulldogs, the No. 5 seed in the Horizon League Men's Tennis Championships, saw their season end with a 4-3 loss to No. 4 seed UIC on Thursday afternoon.
Horizon League Championships - First Round
UIC 4, Butler 3 RESULTS
The Butler men's tennis season came to an end Thursday afternoon, as the Bulldogs lost to UIC, 4-3. The match came down to the final set at No. 1 singles, with UIC's Alex Raa pulling out the decisive point.
After UIC cruised to win the doubles point, the Bulldogs battled back and were in position to win the match. Senior Chris Herron and junior Zach Ervin won decisively to get Butler back in the match. Herron won at No. 2 singles 6-4, 6-0 and Ervin cruised past UIC's James Li 6-1, 6-1.
UIC had won at the fourth and sixth spots, but senior Lenz Theodor won 7-5, 6-1 at No. 5 singles to make it 3-3. Two players remained with the entire crowd watching. Horizon League Tennis Player of the Year Brandon Bayliss was battling all-league honoree Alex Raa from UIC in the third set at No. 1 singles.
Bayliss had cruised in the first set 6-2 but dropped the second set. Raa made the big shots and out-lasted the league's top player 6-2 in the third and decisive set.
Butler finished the season with a dual match record of 6-17.