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Gold Rush reach eight straight wins for 1st time since '08
March 9, 2012

Results:  Men    Women

     MONTGOMERY, Ala. — NAIA No. 9 Xavier University of Louisiana defeated Pikeville 7-2 Friday in the opening round of the AUM Invitational. That gives the Gold Rush eight consecutive men's tennis victories for the first time since 2008.
     XU's women lost 5-4 to 18th-ranked Martin Methodist.
     The 8-1 start of the Gold Rush is the best in Alan Green's nine seasons as head coach.
     "Our guys just hung tough and beat them in singles," Green said. "Right now we are winning ugly. Pikeville has a very underrated team. They're good from top to bottom. Those guys play extremely hard and together."
     Steffen Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson won in doubles and singles for the XU men, who for the first time in Green's tenure won every singles match after losing two or more doubles matches. Giles-Osborn clinched the dual with his 7-5, 6-1 victory over Connor Smith at No. 4.
     The Gold Nuggets (2-10) lost for the first time in three duals and narrowly missed a chance to upset a ranked opponent on the road for the second time in as many days.
     "Martin Methodist is the same team that won our unaffiliated group tournament last season and qualified for nationals," Green said. "We fought them hard, and it would have been nice to beat them. We may see them next month at the qualifying tournament with a berth to nationals on the line. We have a great scouting report on them now."
     Kourtney Howell won in doubles and singles for the Nuggets, and she and Amanda Materre both beat ranked singles opponents at the top two flights. Howell beat Paloma Cortina — rated 38th in NAIA singles in the preseason by the ITA, the reigning TranSouth Athletic Conference Player of the Week and the 2011 TranSouth Player of the Year — 6-0, 6-3. Materre beat 42nd-ranked Anastasia Aleshcheva 6-0, 6-1.
     Howell's victory gave Xavier a 4-3 lead, but the RedHawks closed with a pair of three-set victories. Maria Charrys clinched with her 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 decision against Amber Brown at No. 3.
     Pikeville — in its first season of men's tennis after a four-year absence — is 1-3, and Martin Methodist is 3-1.
     Both XU teams will play ranked NAIA opponents in this event at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The Rush will play No. 22 Campbellsville, and the Nuggets will play No. 15 Shorter. It will be the sixth time in seven matches that the Rush played a ranked opponent and the fifth time in seven matches for the women. The XU women will play Shorter for the second time in six days.

 

 
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 teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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New Orleans, LA 70125
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