Brenau tennis players and coaches pose for a photo after winning the Appalachian Athletics Conference Women's Tennis Championship against SCAD Atlanta. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau tennis repeats as AAC Tournament champions

Apr. 20, 2019
Kris Stewart

Brenau tennis players cheer after winning the final round of the AAC Women’s Tennis Championship. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

The top-seeded Brenau tennis team entered the 2019 Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament as the favorites and the squad answered the challenge with a 5-0 sweep of third-seeded SCAD Atlanta Saturday, April 20 at the Baylor School.

The Golden Tigers posted a perfect 8-0 conference record to win the regular season title and rolled through the conference tournament to win a second consecutive AAC championship. The squad did not drop a point during the tournament, winning each of the three matches by 5-0 score.

In the conference title match, the squad again leaned on excellent doubles play as the No. 1 pairing of Peeraya Charoensirisutthikul and Rebecca Pijls defeated the Bees’ Katrina De Guzman and Simran Kejriwal 8-4.

At second doubles, Evelin Gouveia and Kirsten Dickins edged past Sofia Guerra and Vivian Amaro and the third doubles team of Valentina Pabon and Juana Zambrano earned a third Golden Tiger point with an 8-2 victory over Madelyn Homan and Giulianna Hull.

“I thought we played our best doubles today,” said Andre Ferreira, Brenau head coach. “It was a high level of doubles competition from both SCAD and us, and I was very excited to play against SCAD. I think that they have a really good team and our team just played really well when they needed to in doubles.

“It started really close in all three doubles matches and we stepped up. Our No. 2 doubles (Gouveia and Dickins) lost to them (SCAD) a couple of weeks ago and to now win here in the finals really set the tone for singles.”

Valentina Pabon, left, and Juana Zambrano react after winning their doubles match. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

With a commanding 3-0 lead entering singles play, Dickins easily outpointed Guerra 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles and then Zambrano clinched the championship with a 6-1, 7-5 straight set victory over Smythe.

“Winning two championships in a row is phenomenal,” said Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor. “I’m extremely proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished. And, credit to Andre (Ferreira) and his guidance. He has done a tremendous job coaching this team all year and I think that it was evident once again by the way we played today.”

Ferreia, the 2019 AAC Coach of the Year, noted that his team’s performance is indicative of both senior leadership and overall team preparation.

“I am very happy for our two seniors (Kirsten Dickins and Rebecca Pijls) to win the conference championship twice. This is a tough conference and it has three teams in the top 25 and one receiving votes and to do win it again and to go undefeated just shows that our team did the right things throughout the year. I am proud of them and am happy to have another chance at the National Championships.”

Brenau next looks to the 2019 Women’s Tennis National Championships, May 14 in Mobile, Alabama.

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