MOBILE, Ala. — Senior leadership paved the way for the Georgia Gwinnett College women’s tennis team to affirm its stature atop the NAIA with another national championship performance.
For the second straight year, the Grizzlies defeated Keiser University (Fla.) 5-2 in Saturday’s title match at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.
GGC, the tournament’s top-seeded team, completed the season with a 20-1 record. This was the fourth straight NAIA national championship and fifth in the program’s six-year history of postseason eligibility, bringing home title banners in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The men’s team wrapped up its sixth consecutive national championship earlier in the day.
“What a match to get the 11th national title for GGC tennis,” head coach Chase Hodges said after the fifth championship for the women’s team. “Two of our seniors (Henar Munoz and Maria Prados Cid) stepped up to play a very clean match at No. 2 doubles. That helped put us up 2-1 (in the match), which played a big difference in the outcome. Hats off to the seniors for taking their games to another level today.”
Munoz clinched this year’s title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 3 singles. Earlier, she teamed with Prados Cid for an 8-3 triumph at No. 2 doubles. The doubles victory gave the Grizzlies an early 2-1 lead.
“Today’s match was the most important of my playing career, since it was my last match,” Munoz said. “Having the opportunity to clinch the national title in my last match is an amazing feeling.
“We knew that we needed just three more points, if we got our point at No. 2 doubles. We came out determined to get this win and helping the team get the championship.”
The NAIA’s No. 1-ranked doubles tandem of junior Emerald Able and sophomore Madeline Bosnjak registered the match’s first point with an 8-1 victory on the No. 1 court.
Keiser collected an 8-3 victory at No. 3 doubles.
GGC also controlled play in singles, winning the opening set on four courts. Freshman Tereza Koplova won by identical 6-1 set scores on the No. 6 court for the team’s third point of the match. Moments later, Bosnjak gave GGC a 4-1 advantage with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph at the top of the singles lineup.
“Having the point at No. 6 in a match that we thought could be very competitive helped us maintain the momentum,” Hodges said.
It came down to Munoz’s match. The senior got a key break of service to grab a 5-4 lead in the second set. She then held her serve to clinch the match and national championship.
Bosnjak received the Most Outstanding Player award for her strong play throughout this year’s national championship tournament.