Xavier Athletics



Sunbirds overcome early deficit, eliminate Gold Rush
May 19, 2010


     MOBILE, Ala. — The Xavier University of New Orleans men's tennis team knew it would have to approach perfection Wednesday to defeat defending champion and top-ranked Fresno Pacific in the second round of the NAIA National Championship.
     But instead the Sunbirds extended some perfect records — one doubles team and two singles players — and beat the 16th-ranked Gold Rush 5-1.
     Xavier (13-14) scored first when Sean Richardson and Cameron Knowles defeated Kevin Lott and Aaron Frantz 8-1 at No. 3 doubles, but Fresno Pacific (19-1) didn't lose another set. The Sunbirds tied the dual when Xavier Smith and Alex Gonzalez, ranked second by the ITA, improved to 17-0 this season.with an 8-4 victory against Steffen Giles-Osborn and Mikhail Vaval. Then Fresno Pacific went ahead to stay when 18th-ranked Denny Fafek and Jose Hilla outlasted Hassan Abbas and Mario Myles 9-8 (7-5) at No. 2.
     "That was a heartbreaker," Xavier Coach Alan Green said of the Fafek-Hilla victory. "We were so close to going into the singles up 2-1. We knew we would need every bit of momentum we could get against Fresno."
     Smith, also ranked second in singles, beat Giles-Osborn 6-1, 6-0 to extend the Firebirds' lead to 3-1. Then Martin Vaisse (20-0) and Maxime Adam (17-0) closed the dual. Vaisse, ranked 24th, defeated Myles 6-3, 6-0, and Adam beat Richardson 6-0, 6-1.
     Fresno Pacific extended its winning streak to nine and will play eighth-ranked Westmont, a 5-4 winner over Graceland, in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Thursday.
     It was the final collegiate dual for Myles and Knowles, both seniors. But Xavier's top two singles players — Giles-Osborn (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year) and Abbas (GCAC Newcomer of the Year) — will return next season.
     NOTES:   It was the second straight season the XU men lost in the second round to the top-ranked team and defending champion. Auburn Montgomery eliminated the Rush 5-0 a year ago . . . Earlier in the day another top-ranked team and defending champion, Auburn Montgomery's women, defeated the Gold Nuggets 5-0 in the second round . . . Abbas, who trailed Gonzales 7-6 (7-5), 0-1 in an unfinished match, led the Gold Rush this season with 23 singles victories, six more than any Xavier player of a year ago.


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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