Xavier Athletics



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.


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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