Jaguars beat Nuggets, but Howell breaks through at No. 1
February 4, 2012
MOBILE, Ala. — Sophomore Kourtney Howell scored
the first dual-match point of the season for Xavier University of Louisiana's
women's tennis team, but South Alabama earned a 6-1 victory Saturday.
It was the second loss in less than 24 hours for the
Gold Nuggets (0-3) as they begin their spring semester with five consecutive
NCAA Division I opponents. But Howell, after splitting sets against the No.
1 singles players of Tulane and New Orleans, broke through against USA's
Chané Hines, a senior and a three-time South African national champion.
Howell defeated Hines 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5). Xavier
had dropped 12 straight No. 1 singles matches against NCAA D-I opponents
since April 17, 2010.
"Kourtney's win was huge for her because it was her
third straight three-set match," XU coach Alan Green said.
Xavier didn't win any other sets and collected just
two games in three doubles matches, but Green also cited senior Ashley McGill,
a 6-2, 6-4 loser to Veronika Kalugina at No. 6 singles.
"I was extremely proud of Kourtney and Ashley," Green
said. "Everyone played hard, but those two stood out. We faced another tough
opponent, but we played better than we did yesterday (in a 9-0 home loss to
New Orleans). We're taking baby steps."
South Alabama is 2-0.
Both Xavier teams will visit Prairie View A&M in
3 p.m. duals Friday.