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XU beats Point Loma, ends national tournament drought

May 16, 2012

Results

     MOBILE, Ala. — Xavier University of Louisiana defeated two ranked doubles teams and two ranked singles players Wednesday in a 5-0 men's tennis victory against Point Loma Nazarene in the second round of the NAIA National Championship.
     The Gold Rush (18-7), seeded seventh, became the first XU team in 39 years to reach the national quarterfinals. Thirty-seven teams in five sports failed to reach the quarterfinals since then, including 16 second-round losers. The XU men increased their win streak to six and set a school record for victories in a season.
     Viktor Svoboda and Loic Didavi won in doubles and singles. Svoboda clinched the dual with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against KC Ensley at No. 3 singles. Steffen Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson rallied from a 7-4 deficit to beat Ensley and Angel Tavera 9-7 at No. 2 doubles.
     Ensley is ranked 35th in singles by the Intercollegiate Tnnis Association and 16th in doubles with Tavera. Didavi beat 17th-ranked Tyler Bowman 6-2, 6-3.
     Didavi and Zach Taylor, ranked in the top four in doubles all spring, knocked off 11th-rated Bowman and Gregory De Andrade 8-4.
     Xavier scored its first point at No. 3 doubles when Svoboda and Corey Huggins beat Michael Zablan and Andrew Combs 8-6. Zablan and Combs broke serve in the 13th game after saving two match points, but Svoboda and Huggins broke back to end the match and record their seventh consecutive victory.
     Of the four unfinished singles matches, Xavier led in three of them.
     "Big win," XU coach Alan Green said. "Not only to finally get an XU team through to the
    
NAIA National Championship
(seedings in parentheses)

First Round — 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15
Cumberland (16) d. Warner (17) 9-0
William Carey (9) d. Graceland (24) 9-0
Concordia (Calif.) (12) d. Asbury (21) 9-0
Aquinas (13) d. Spring Arbor (20) 7-2
Bethany (Kan.) (14) d. Olivet Nazarene (19) 6-3
Lindsey Wilson (11) d. Hastings (22) 9-0
Point Loma Nazarene (10) d. Mobile (23) 8-1
Belhaven (15) d. Campbellsville (18) 5-4

Second Round — 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16
Fresno Pacific (1) d. Cumberland (16) 5-0
Westmont (8) d. William Carey (9) 5-4
Auburn Montgomery (5) d. Concordia (Calif.) 5-1
Azusa Pacific (4) d. Aquinas (13) 5-0
Oklahoma Christian (3) d. Bethany (Kan.) (14) 5-0
Vanguard (6) d. Lindsey Wilson (11) 5-3
Xavier (7) d. Point Loma Nazarene (10) 5-0
Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (2) d. Belhaven (15) 5-0

Quarterfinals — 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 17
Fresno Pacific (1) vs. Westmont (8)
Azusa Pacific (4) vs. Auburn Montgomery (5)
Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (2) vs. Xavier (7)
Oklahoma Christian (3) vs. Vanguard (6)

Semifinals — 1 p.m. on Friday, May 18

Championship — 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19

Xavier at Nationals (3-3)
May 12, 2009 (first round): Xavier 5, Oklahoma Christian 4
May 13, 2009 (second round): Auburn Montgomery 5, Xavier 0

May 18, 2010 (first round): Xavier 5, Tennessee Wesleyan 3
May 19, 2010 (second round): Fresno Pacific 5, Xavier 1

May 18, 2011 (second round): Vanguard 5, Xavier 3

May 16, 2012 (second round): Xavier 5, Point Loma Nazarene 0
quarterfinals again, but also to make amends for last year."
     A year ago the XU men had a first-round bye and was the higher seed in the second round — but lost 5-3 to a Vanguard team they defeated in the regular season. Xavier entered the Point Loma dual with the same scenario, but a different attitude.
     "That loss to Vanguard last year left a bad taste in our mouths," Green said. "We didn't have any intensity, we were probably overconfident, and we got whipped. But today we came out with intensity and maintained it. That was the difference."
     Xavier will play second-seeded Embry-Riddle (Fla.), a 5-0 winner against Belhaven, at 1 p.m. Thursday. Point Loma, the No. 10 seed, finished 13-11 and was 0-2 this season against Xavier.
     No XU team had won in the second round since the Gold Rush defeated top-ranked and unbeaten Sam Houston State 67-60 in the NAIA men's basketball tourney at Kansas City, Mo., on March 14, 1973. Xavier lost 87-80 the following day to Maryland-Eastern Shore.
     Xavier and Embry-Riddle will meet for the third time, but it will be the first postseason matchup. The Eagles won 6-1 in 2004 and 8-1 in 2007.
     "We're the type of team that can beat anybody or lose to anybody," Green said. "Hopefully we can take care of ourselves tomorrow and that will be enough."
     NOTES:  Xavier lost in the second round each of the past three seasons . . . The victory was Xavier's 10th of the season against a ranked NAIA opponent and fourth against a top-10 team. Both are school records . . . The 2008-09 Gold Rush held the previous season mark for victories . . . This was the first time that Xavier won a dual at nationals without dropping a match . . . Xavier is the first men's tennis team from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference to reach the quarterfinals.


 

 
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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