The Alabama State University Hornets capped off a tremendous season with a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title in a sweep over the Jackson State University Tigers at the Pepsi Tennis Center on April 24.
The Hornets dominated all season, racking up multiple regular-season awards before the start of the postseason. Six players made all-conference teams, and David Jeanne Grandinot was named SWAC Freshman of the Year after his sensational undefeated season in conference play.
With the Hornets firing on all cylinders throughout the season, they went a perfect 5-0 against SWAC competition, on their way to a 10-6 overall record . After securing the number one seed in the postseason, they matched up with their archrivals and defending champions, the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Bulldogs.
Much like the regular-season matchup between the two in-state rivals, the Hornets breezed past the Bulldogs with a 4-0 shutout. Freshman Matis Amier backed up his all-SWAC first-team nomination, securing the Hornets’ trip to the championship with a 6-2 victory.
In the championship doubles matches, the Hornets pounced on the Tigers, taking a 1-0 lead in the overall match courtesy of the junior duo of Ruan Du Preez and Samrakshyak Bajracharya, who won their match 6-2. The other duo of junior Juan Rodriguez and graduate Chris Andre clinched the point, winning their match 6-4.
In singles play, Bajracharya gave the Hornets a 2-0 lead overall after a 6-2 victory in his match. Sophomore Kristofer Johnson followed up with a 6-3 win to give ASU a sizable 3-0 lead. Andre delivered the championship-winning victory with a 6-1 win, earning himself the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.
To put an exclamation point on what had already been a very successful season, 10-year tennis head coach Anuk Christiansz received his third Coach of the Year award of his SWAC coaching career. Under Christiansz leadership, the program has won nine championships between the men’s and women’s teams, including the 2022 title.
The Hornets await their next opponent and regional destination in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Selection Show on May 2 at 6 p.m.