MOBILE, Ala. -- The No. 7 Brenau University Golden Tigers tennis team opens national championship tournament play at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a match against the 10th-ranked Crimson Storm of Southern Nazarene University.
The Tigers make their fourth consecutive appearance -- and 12th overall -- at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship play, scheduled May 15-19 at the Mobile Tennis Center. The Golden Tigers are one of only two teams that have won more than one national championship.
Brenau, 22-10 in all-time championship play, received at-large bid and a No. 3 seed in this year's tournament. The Tigers drew a bye in the first round and now face the Storm, which soundly defeated unranked Missouri Valley College in May 15 opening day play.
The Tigers finished the 2011 season ranked 8th in the nation after losing in the single elimination national tournament. However, Head Coach Andre Ferreira, in his second season at Brenau, expressed optimism about the young squad.
"I am sure that team is in good shape for nationals," he said. "Everybody is healthy, except for minor injuries, which are manageable, and team is training in full mode."
Ferreira conceded his talented team needs experience. Half of the team is new, which requires some time for players to find the right team chemistry. Injuries slowed the Tigers in the fall and early spring, but the team managed to pull together a great season, losing only to the No. 1 and 3 teams in the nation