Tennis, swimming win conference championships

Brenau University wrapped up its first year in the Appalachian Athletic Conference with championships in tennis and swimming and diving.

The Golden Tiger tennis team won both the regular-season and conference tournament titles with a 5-3 victory over SCAD Atlanta to cap an extra-effort quest because members of the team, as head coach Andre Ferreira put it, “felt they had something to prove. We started the year unranked and slowly moved up, so this is the perfect end to the season.”

Postseason honors included all three major AAC women’s tennis awards. Peeraya Charoensirisutthikul, freshman from Marietta, Georgia, was named both AAC Player and Freshman of the Year. Maya Mammetgulyyeva, senior from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and Patricia Recalde Pacua, senior from Asuncion, Paraguay, joined Charoensirisutthikul on the All-Conference team. Valentina Pabon, freshman from Bogota, Colombia, received All-Freshman honors. Ferreira was named Coach of the Year for guiding his team to a perfect 9-0 regular-season conference record.

Brenau swimmers pose in the podium during the parade of athletes for the finals of the NAIA Swimming & Diving National Championship on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

In February, the Golden Tigers swim team won the AAC Swimming & Diving Championships with eight first-place finishes over three days. Junior Lindsay Dowling capped off the final day of competition with a win in the 200 backstroke. The team also earned two second-place finishes from Ella Kleinschmidt in the 1650 freestyle and Maggie Davis in the 200 butterfly.

Five swimmers were named NAIA All-Americans: Nikoletta Alvanou, freshman from Thessaloniki, Greece; Maggie Davis, freshman from Thomasville, Georgia; Lindsay Dowling, junior from Winston, Georgia; Ella Kleinschmidt, senior from Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia; and Yanne Toussaint, sophomore from Varsseveld, The Netherlands.

Other Brenau teams did well in the new conference this spring. Track and field placed third at the AAC meet in April in Montreat, North Carolina. Softball came up just short in their quest for a conference title, falling to Truett-McConnell College in the conference championship game in April in Kingsport, Tennessee.

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