Xavier Athletics



Nuggets to play McKendree in first round Monday
May 7, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — The Xavier University of Louisiana women's tennis team will play McKendree in the opening round of the NAIA National Championship at 9 a.m. Monday at the Mobile (Ala.) Tennis Center.

The NAIA announced seedings and pairings for the 24-team event Wednesday.

The winner of that match will play fourth-seeded Vanguard at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Xavier is 16-7 and ranked 13th in the final NAIA coaches poll and earned an at-large bid after reaching the semifinals of the Region XIII Tournament. McKendree, of Lebanon, Ill., is 9-5 and unranked but earned an at-large bid by winning the Region V Tournament.

Both teams have players in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's NAIA rankings of April 17. For Xavier, sophomore Anastesia Opata is 17th, and senior Dominique Bell is 26th in singles. Bell and Opata are ninth in doubles. McKendree sophomore Maria Occhipinti is 32nd in singles, and Occhipinti and junior Jenny Mennerick are 25th in doubles.

This will be the first meeting between the Gold Nuggets and the Bearcats. Xavier is 2-2 in the tournament after reaching the second round in 2004 and 2005.

Vanguard defeated Xavier 9-0 on Feb. 16 during the Nuggets' four-match California trip, but since then the Nuggets have won 14 of 18 matches.

Other teams on Xavier's half of the bracket include fifth-seeded Azusa Pacific and four-time defending champion Auburn Montgomery, the No. 1 seed. The Nuggets could meet Azusa, a 5-0 winner against Xavier on Feb. 15, in the quarterfinals. Xavier could play AUM, which is 2-0 this season against Xavier, in the semifinals.


Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

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.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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