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Auburn Montgomery wins Region XIII titles again
For immediate release . . . April 21, 2007
Tournament front page

NEW ORLEANS — Auburn Montgomery's women defeated Berry 5-1, and the men defeated Lee 5-0 Saturday in the finals of the NAIA Region XIII Tennis Tournament at the University of New Orleans Wow Cafe Tennis Center.

AUM's women (25-1) won their fifth consecutive regional championship, and the men (19-2) won their third in a row. Both teams are ranked first in the NAIA and qualified automatically for the NAIA National Tournament May 14-18 at Mobile, Ala.

"People think it's been easy for us this season, but it hasn't," said Scott Kidd, coach of AUM's women. "We've had to battle through some surgeries and some injuries. This victory is special because we had to fight through all these obstacles. Our younger players have stepped up and contributed to the overall team effort."

The Lady Senators — 110-2 over the last four seasons and a three-time defending national champion — got a boost this week by the return of Dominika Zuzulova, who teamed with Kamila Dadakhodjaeva to earn victories at No. 2 doubles in the semifinals and final. Zuzulova began the season as AUM's No. 1 singles player but was sidelined by a knee injury after three matches.

AUM will try to become first NAIA member since Flagler in 1991 to win four consecutive national championships in women's tennis. Flager won five in a row from 1987-91.

"A lot of teams have improved this year. We haven't dominated. We've had to fight and train hard this year," Kidd said. "I also thank all the boosters back in Montgomery who have supported us. Their support has been great."

Berry freshman Rachael Feibelman, who did not play in the Lady Vikings' 8-1 regular-season loss to AUM, scored her team's point when she defeated Bethany Fain 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. Berry, ranked ninth in the NAIA and the No. 2 seed in the regional, is 15-9.

Both championship matches lasted approximately two hours, with AUM's women clinching their title about five minutes before the men. The Senators wrapped up their title when Alex Petropolous defeated Juan Saa 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles.

"It's been a good season," said Anuk Christianz, coach of AUM's men. "I'm proud of my guys for the hard work. We could get better in doubles, but other than that we're playing good."

Lee, ranked 12th in the NAIA and third in the regional, is 13-4, with half the losses to AUM.

Xavier University of Louisiana hosted the event. Xavier junior Dominique Bell of Jackson, Miss., was selected to the 12-member All-Region XIII women's team. Auburn Montgomery dominated the All-Region selections, with eight women and seven men making the team and Kidd and Christianz earning Coach of the Year awards.

 

 
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The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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