Brenau players hug after winning the final round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference women's tennis championships on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Chattanooga Tenn. Brenau defeated SCAD Atlanta 5-0 to win the AAC Championship. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Golden Tigers tennis captures 2018 AAC tournament championship, postseason honors

Apr. 22, 2018
Kristen Bowman

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 22, 2018) – The Brenau University tennis team wrapped up its first year in the Appalachian Athletic Conference with both the regular season and conference tournament championship after a 5-3 victory over SCAD Atlanta on Sunday, April 22, at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Playing indoor due to rain, the Golden Tigers capped off a perfect record in conference play with a decisive win over the second-seeded Bees.

Michael Lochstampfor, Brenau athletics director, congratulates tennis players after the final round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference women’s tennis championships on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Chattanooga Tenn. Brenau defeated SCAD Atlanta 5-0 to win the AAC Championship. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

“First year in the conference and they get a conference championship, both regular season and tournament,” said Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor. “Kudos to Andre and his team. He worked a long time to get this in in our previous conference and now has done it in our first year in the AAC. I’m really proud of him and these great athletes.”

Brenau tennis players chant before the semifinal round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference women’s tennis championships on Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Chattanooga Tenn. Brenau defeated Reinhardt 5-0. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

In doubles play, Brenau posted a clean sweep, winning all three matches to post an early 3-0 advantage. The doubles team of Rebecca Pijls, junior from Beek, The Netherlands, and Valentina Pabon, freshman from Bogota, Colombia, defeated Madison Umbaugh and Giulianna Hull 8-5, while the team of Paula Rives Palau, senior from Barcelona, Spain, and Patricia Recalde Pacua, senior from Asuncion, Paraguay, also outpaced Sofia Guerra and Antonella Altamirano 8-5.

Brenau doubles team Peeraya Charoesirisutthikul, freshman from Marietta, Georgia, and Maya Mammetgulyyeva, senior from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, defeated Katrina De Guzman and Simran Kejriwal by an 8-5 margin to avenge the pairings’ previous loss during the regular season.

Entering singles play with a 3-0 advantage, both Kirsten Dickens, junior from London, England, and Rives Palau each won their matches in straight sets to clinch the Golden Tigers’ first AAC Tournament championship.

“The part I’m really happy about is these girls,” said Brenau head coach Andre Ferreira. “I think the girls this entire season felt they had something to prove, so I’m really happy for the group. It’s a bit of an older team with three seniors, and they’ve wanted this.

“We started the year not ranked and slowly moved up in the rankings. So this is the perfect end to the season for this team. We just can’t wait for nationals.”

Brenua head coach Andre Ferreira gives direction between games during the semifinal round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference women’s tennis championships on Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Chattanooga Tenn. Brenau defeated Reinhardt 5-0. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

In addition to their regular season and tournament team performances, the squad also received numerous individual postseason honors, including winning all three major AAC women’s tennis awards.

After posting an undefeated singles conference record in her inaugural season, Charoensirisutthikul was named both AAC Player and Freshman of the Year.

The AAC coaches also selected Ferreira Coach of the Year for guiding his team to a perfect 9-0 regular season record.

Mammetgulyyeva and Recalde Pacua joined Charoensirisutthikul on the All-Conference team. Both were instrumental in helping the team capture the regular season championship. Additionally Pabon received All-Freshman honors for her play during her first season as a Golden Tiger.

Finally, Charoensirisutthikul was named the NAIA National Women’s Tennis Player of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday, April 25, for her performances during the championship.

Brenau next competes at the 38th Annual Women’s Tennis National Championships, May 15-19, at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama.

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100