Brenau University Athletics Hall of Fame indutees (L to R) Ayako Noda-Horie, Maiko Noda-Hashimoto, Tifanny Schandera-Sanders, Hannah Boudreaux-Vollenweider. (Photos by Scott Rogers for Brenau University)
Brenau University Athletics Hall of Fame indutees, from left, Ayako Noda-Horie, Maiko Noda-Hashimoto, Tifanny Schandera-Sanders, Hannah Boudreaux-Vollenweider. (Photos by Scott Rogers for Brenau University)

Four alumnae inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame

Oct. 2, 2018
Kristen Bowman
Brenau University Athletics Hall of Fame Awards Sept. 29, 2018.

The Brenau University Athletics Hall of Fame Awards were held in the Brenau Downtown Center on Sept. 29, 2018.

The Brenau University Athletics Department hosted the Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony during Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Brenau Downtown Center in Gainesville.

Tennis players and sisters Ayako Noda Horie, class of 1997, and Maiko Noda Hashimoto, class of 1999, returned for the event from their native Japan. They, alongside swimmer Hannah Boudreaux Vollenweider and softball player Tiffany Schandera Sanders, both class of 2013, joined the previous 22 inductees of the Hall of Fame.

“The inductees are always going to bring a new perspective and will happily share their Brenau stories and experiences and the impact that Brenau has had on their personal and professional lives,” said Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor. “Yet they all share the same testimony about the impact of their college athletic experience — the lifelong friends and connections they made, the values they learned and the character they developed. It’s no longer about how many championships they won, how many records they broke, runs they scored and so on.”

The purpose of the Brenau Athletic Hall of Fame is to honor and preserve the names and accomplishments of student athletes, coaches, administrators and others who have been outstanding in athletic performance and character and in advancing the mission of Brenau athletics.

Horie was a four-year NAIA All-American while at Brenau, where she majored in art. After graduation, she stayed in the U.S. for a year to compete. She moved back to Japan in 1998 and was eventually ranked the No. 30 tennis player in the nation. Today she lives there with her husband and three children. Her sister, meanwhile, was a graduate of both Brenau Academy and the university, and was also a four-year All-American. She was part of the team that won the 1999 NAIA National Championship, the first in school history. She met her husband, who is also from Japan, while she was a Brenau student and he was a student at Georgia State. Today they live in Japan with their three children.

Maiko Noda-Hashimoto, left, Brenau tennis player from 1996-1999, and her sister Ayako Noda-Horie, Brenau tennis player from 1993-1997.

Maiko Noda-Hashimoto, left, Brenau tennis player from 1996-1999, and her sister Ayako Noda-Horie, Brenau tennis player from 1993-1997.

Vollenweider was a three-time conference champion and the 2013 Appalachian Swim Conference and NAIA Swimmer of the Year. She remains the Brenau individual record holder for the 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly. After graduation, she coached high school and masters swim programs. She and her husband have two children.

Finally, Sanders received numerous honors and accolades while a member of the Golden Tigers softball team, including finishing top 10 in the nation in batting average her senior year. Today, she is a nurse manager for Piedmont Columbus Regional Outpatient Infusion Center. In her acceptance speech, she spoke about the challenge of majoring in nursing as a student-athlete. She said doing both was possible because Brenau faculty, staff and coaches “made it possible.” She particularly emphasized and thanked Brenau President Ed Schrader, who provided a special graduation ceremony for the softball team in 2013 when they were going to miss the university’s graduation ceremony for the conference softball championship.

The Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony was first held in 2013, and Lochstampfor said it has grown every year since.

“I don’t think the honorees necessarily realize the significance of their accomplishments and achievements while they are athletes here competing, but when they return for the luncheon, I think they are genuinely appreciative of the recognition and their connection to Brenau,” he said. “As appreciative as they might be of the honor of being inducted, we are equally honored to have them return and to celebrate their many contributions to Brenau athletics and the university.”

Each year, the event is full of current student-athletes, which Lochstampfor hopes is highly impactful.

“I want them to see the big picture,” he said, “what it looks like when an athlete is recruited to Brenau, competes for three or four years successfully, earns a degree, establishes lifelong connections, has a positive experience, and then moves on to their professional and personal lives. I think it’s important for our student-athletes to see them return to share their thoughts and experiences with others.”

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