Xavier Athletics



3 Xavier tennis players make NAIA All-America teams
May 16, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — Three tennis players from Xavier University of Louisiana — sophomore Anastesia Opata and seniors Dominique Bell and Miroslav Vukicevic — were named Friday to NAIA All-America teams.

Opata, from Lawrenceville, Ga., was selected to the women's first team. Bell, from Jackson, Miss., made the women's second team. Vukicevic, from Sombor, Serbia-Montenegro, is on the men's second team.

The NAIA men's and women's tennis tournament committees selected the teams.

Opata, in her first year at Xavier after transferring from Washington State, was 16-4 in singles and teamed with Bell to go 20-5 in doubles and be ranked among the top 10 NAIA doubles team by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Opata and Bell rallied from a 3-0 deficit Tuesday to defeat Vanguard's fifth-ranked Hana Jurcovicova and Damia Donkervoort 8-5 during the second round of the NAIA National Championship.

It's the second consecutive year that Xavier has a woman on the All-America first team — Bell became the first in 2007.

Bell was 16-4 in singles and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the fourth time. She closed a stellar career with victories in 11 of her final 12 doubles matches and in her final eight singles decisions.

Vukicevic, Xavier's highest rated singles player this year — he was seventh in the ITA's NAIA rankings of April 21 — was 12-9 in singles and 13-10 in doubles. His most notable victory was 6-4, 6-3 on Feb. 17 against Fresno Pacific's Matt Carroll, who is ranked third.

Vukicevic is Xavier's first men's tennis All-American in the modern era. Jimmie McDaniel, who played for Xavier in the 1930s, won multiple men's singles national championships in the American Tennis Association.

Xavier's women were 17-8 this year, ranked 13th in the final coaches poll and reached the second round of the NAIA nationals for the third time. Xavier's men were 15-9, ranked 17th and won the GCAC Tournament. Both programs in April earned their first victories in the NAIA Region XIII Tournament.


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
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New Orleans, LA 70125
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(504) 520-7934 fax

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