Xavier Athletics



Nuggets defeat McKendree at NAIA national tourney
May 12, 2008


MOBILE, Ala. — Led by Dominique Bell and Anastesia Opata, 13th-ranked Xavier University of Louisiana defeated McKendree 7-2 Monday in the opening round of the NAIA Women's Tennis Championship at Mobile Tennis Center.

The Gold Nuggets (17-7) ended the five-match winning streak of the Bearcats (9-6) and advanced to a 9 a.m. second-round match Tuesday against Vanguard (21-4), ranked fifth in the final coaches poll but seeded fourth in the tournament.

Bell and Opata scored Xavier's first point when they defeated Maria Occhipinti and Jenny Mennerick 8-5 in a matchup of ranked doubles teams. It was the 10th victory in the past 11 matches for Bell and Opata, who are 10th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's NAIA rankings. Occhipinti and Mennerick are 24th.

Xavier entered the singles matches with a 2-1 lead. Bell, ranked 34th in the NAIA, made it 3-1 when she defeated Mennerick 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and 23rd-ranked Opata clinched the dual when she beat 25th-ranked Occhipinti 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1.

Opata has won eight of her past nine singles matches, and Bell won her eighth in a row and her 14th in 15 matches.

Also scoring points for Xavier was the doubles team of Yuliem Domiguez and Colleen McArthur. Dominguez, McArthur and Alexandra Broussard also earned straight-set singles victories.

"We were almost too excited when we started the match," Xavier coach Alan Green said. "That's because everyone but Dominique was playing at nationals for the first time. But we settled down and played well.

"McKendree has a very good team. We won 7-2, but McKendree pushed us. We played a lot of long points with them."

The Nuggets are 3-0 in first-round matches at the national tournament but never have won in the second round. They lost 9-0 at Vanguard on Feb. 16 during a four-match California trip.


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.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
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New Orleans, LA 70125
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(504) 520-7934 fax

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