The closing of an era took place on April 3 as five students on the Piedmont College tennis teams celebrated senior day. Coaches, teammates, friends and family members gathered around for a senior ceremony before Piedmont won all nine matches against Brevard College.

During the ceremony, Coach Shane Wood, who is serving his 15th season as head coach of the Lions, gave a heartfelt speech about each player and their commitment for the past four years. Along with his touching words, he gave each senior athlete a framed photo.

Bryan Barnett, a senior business major and member of the men’s tennis team, was overcome with joy at the sight of all the people that supported him throughout his college career cheering him on.

“It was the best day, I loved playing my match and being able to look around and see the signs my fellow teammates made for me,” he said. “It just meant a lot to me to have them all there cheering me on knowing it was going to be one of my last matches ever as a Piedmont Lion.”

Throughout the day, the graduating Lions cheered each other on as they competed in their near-final tennis matches.

“It was bittersweet knowing I’ll soon be done,” said Tatiana Burkett, senior biology major and member of the women’s tennis team. “But it was nice to remember the good four years we as seniors have had, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the rest of the Lions.”

In addition to Barnett and Burkett, seniors Durden Smith, Nathan Metzger and Austin Miller were also recognized at the ceremony.

Coach Trey Martin, who was a member of the Piedmont men’s tennis team in 2015, has seen most of these players grow up, both on and off the court. Martin said it was a bittersweet moment seeing his friends and players celebrate their college tennis careers, and realizing they will soon be graduating.

“All of our seniors that were able to be there got to play singles and doubles which helped contribute to both the women’s and men’s teams getting a conference win,” he said. “That was great to see because this senior class has meant so much to both programs. I am sad to see them go, but I know they have great things ahead of them.”

They finished their senior day with a victory for both the women’s and men’s teams, bringing them one step closer to their conference title. The men’s team (11-6) and women’s team (11-3) will wrap up their respective seasons at the USA South Conference Tournament in LaGrange.