Vanguard eliminates Nuggets in second round
May 13, 2008
MOBILE, Ala. — Vanguard defeated Xavier University of Louisiana 5-1 Tuesday
in the second round of the NAIA Women's Tennis National Championship at Mobile Tennis Center.
The Gold Nuggets (17-8) scored their only point when Dominique Bell and Anastesia
Opata, ranked 10th in doubles in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's NAIA rankings,
rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Vanguard's fifth-ranked Hana Jurcovicova and Damia Donkervoort 8-5.
"Bell and Opata made a nice comeback," Xavier coach Alan Green said. "Those first three
games they lost, they weren't hitting. They were just trying to place the ball."
Bell and Opata's victory trimmed Vanguard's lead to 2-1. The Lions (22-4) clinched the match by
dropping a combined one game in three straight-set singles victories. Opata, ranked 23rd in
singles, beat sixth-ranked Jurcovicova 6-2 in the first set of their singles match and trailed 1-0 in
the second set when the dual ended.
"The last time they played was a blowout," Green said in reference to Jurcovicova's 6-0, 6-1
victory against Opata on Feb. 16 during the Nuggets' four-match trip to California. "This time Ana's
ball-movement was much better, She moved it around and kept (Jurcovicova) on the run. Ana
was on the offensive on most of the points."
It was the final collegiate dual for Bell, a four-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
Player of the Year and a first-team NAIA All-American as a junior. She capped her career
with 11 victories in her final 12 doubles matches and eight consecutive singles
victories. Her singles streak remained intact because the dual ended before her match against
eighth-ranked Betyel Tesfa did. Tesfa led Bell, ranked 34th, 6-0, 3-2.
Bell is the only senior on Xavier's 2008 roster, and during her tenure the Nuggets were
44-0 in GCAC regular-season matches, 3-0 in first-round matches at NAIA nationals and won the
GCAC Tournament three times.
"I thought this was my most rewarding season as a coach," Green said. "We did some
traveling and played some of the best teams in the country this year, so when we got to
nationals we weren't in awe of everybody. I'm looking forward to next season. We're going
to try to win this thing one day real soon."
Vanguard advanced to the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive year and will play
third-ranked Azusa Pacific at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Azusa defeated Westmont 5-1 in the second round.