On Sunday, April 17, 2016 at City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Alcorn State University Lady Braves Tennis Team won the 2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tennis Championship. This marks the first win for the Braves since 2008 and the program’s fourth SWAC title. (2000, 2001, 2008, 2016)
The Lady Braves began the Tournament as the number 2 seed and began play on Saturday, April 16 against the Southern University Lady Jaguars. The Braves handily beat the Lady Jags 4-2 to advance to the championship game against the Jackson State University (JSU) Lady Tigers.
The Championship round began with Jackson State clinching the doubles point with Bright Phakamad and Karina Ono defeating Aida Kelic and Ivana Boberic of Alcorn, 6-3, at No. 2 doubles. The Tigers’ Julia Angermann and Anastasia Zviahintseva won at the No. 1 position 6-2 over Alcorn’s Ekaterina Potapova and Sibohan Ryan-Bovey.
Alcorn’s Aakanksha Punj and Marlene Maier defeated JSU’s Daria Butorino and Rebekah Adewumi, 6-4, at No. 3 doubles.
Jackson State went up 2-0 with Phakamad defeating Alcorn’s Klavdija Bukovic, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 4 singles.
The Lady Brave’s, in a sign of desperation, captured four-straight battles in the other singles matches. Alcorn’s Kelic collected a 6-2, 6-2, win over JSU’s Angermann at No. 1 singles while Alcorn’s Boberic won 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 2 singles over JSU’s Daria Butorina. At No. 5 singles, Alcorn’s Potapova defeated JSU’s Akshantha Ananth, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, while Alcorn’s Maier bested JSU’s Ono at the No. 6 match, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 which gave the Lady Braves the championship.
During the Tournament Alcorn’s Coach Anthony Dodgen was named SWAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year and Alcorn’s Marlene Maier was named Tournament Most Valuable Player. The accolades continued for Maier as she and Ivana Boberic and Ekaterina Potapova were named to the 2016 SWAC All Tournament Team.