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
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.