Gold Rush win final four matches to topple William Carey
February 25, 2012
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana won
the final four singles matches Saturday to defeat William Carey 5-4 in a
matchup of ranked NAIA men's tennis teams at the University of New Orleans.
Sean Richardson finished the comeback with a 6-3, 6-7
(6-8), 6-4 decision against Robin Semal at No. 6 singles.
It was the fourth straight victory for the Gold Rush
(4-1), ranked ninth, and the second in a row against a ranked opponent. William
Carey (0-2) is ranked 13th.
William Carey's women, ranked 12th, defeated Xavier
9-0. It was the first match of the season for both teams against a non-NCAA
Division I opponent. The Lady Crusaders are 1-4, and the Gold Nuggets are
"The men's dual was a war," XU coach Alan Green said.
"I don't recall ever being in one like that since I've been coaching where
we were on the brink of defeat and had to pull out grueling win after win.
All our singles wins went three sets."
Viktor Svoboda and Steffen Giles-Osborn won in
singles for Xavier after dropping their first sets. Svoboda beat Thomas Rizk,
ranked 46th by the ITA among NAIA players, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 for the first XU
singles point. Then Giles-Osborn beat Marthinius Visser 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to cut
the Crusaders' lead to 4-3.
Zach Taylor beat 31st-ranked Ricky Keppeler (WCU)
6-1, 4-6, 6-1 to tie the dual.
"This is the type of match we need to become the team
we want to be," Green said. "It was a total team victory."
Taylor was the only XU player to score in singles
and doubles. Taylor and Loic Didavi, ranked third in the NAIA, beat Jody
Claassen and Rizk 8-5 at No. 1 doubles after the Crusaders won the first two
Kourtney Howell's No. 1 singles match again
provided the most suspense in the women's dual. For the seventh time in as
many duals this season, Howell went three sets. But the Lady Crusaders' Maja
Vuzem, ranked 41st, prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-5).
Nicole DeLoach played her most competitive match of
the spring semester in a 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) loss to Joyce Oliviera at No. 5
Xavier's women will travel to Baton Rouge, La., for
a noon dual with Southern next Saturday, then both XU teams will play Shorter at 2 p.m.
on March 5 at City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center. Shorter's men are 10th in the NAIA,
and the women are 15th.