By Scott Barker, NAIA Media Coordinator
MOBILE, Ala. – (Bracket) (Video Recap) (Schedule & Results) After fighting off several weather delays and finishing the finals on Sunday, Georgia Gwinnett knocked off Lindsey Wilson, 5-3, to claim the programs third national title and second-straight championship.
“Three National Championships in four years, I look at this one and even though it wasn't a 5-4 result I think that with all the delays and rain and almost 40 hours to complete since we started yesterday, I have to say that this one is going to be unforgettable for us,” said Georgia Gwinnett head coach Chase Hodges. “To come back after rain delays and being able to stay focused and ultimately I think that the fact we have such an experienced group of seniors was the difference in this match. I'm just thrilled to have seven [four men, three women] national championships.”
The Grizzlies started out strong by taking No. 2 (8-1) and No. 3 (8-5) doubles, before the Blue Raiders were able to take No. 1 singles (8-6).
Georgia Gwinnett won at No. 6 singles to climb within two points of winning a championship.
Lindsey Wilson got a win at No. 5 singles (6-3, 6-1) to stay within striking distance.
After a four-hour weather delay, the team resumed play, with Lindsey Wilson taking the first match at No. 2 (6-3, 6-3) to tie the match at three.
The Grizzlies won at No. 4 (6-4, 7-6, 10-5) and No. 1 (6-3, 1-6, 6-2) to claim the trophy.
Valeria Podda of Georgia Gwinnett was named tournament Most Outstanding Player and head coach Chase Hodges was named Coach of the Year.
The Grizzlies entered the NAIA four years again and have claimed three red banners and played in the championship the other year.