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Montrel, Benkirane sign scholarships with Gold Rush

Kyle Montrel

Kyle Montrel
     Saad Benkirane

Saad Benkirane
     September 14, 2012

     NEW ORLEANS — Kyle Montrel of Atlanta and Saad Benkirane of Casablanca, Morocco, have signed men's tennis scholarships with Xavier University of Louisiana. Montrel will be a freshman, and Benkirane will be a senior on the Gold Rush roster. Both are enrolled at XU for the current semester.
     Montrel, a left-hander and a native New Orleanian, is a TennisRecruiting.net four-star prospect who has won approximately 45 age-group singles championships and seven doubles championships since age 8. He is a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and also attended Westlake High School, where he was a basketball point guard for both.
     Benkirane, a right-hander, is a transfer from NCAA Division I St. Mary's College of Moraga, Calif., where he had a combined 31 victories during the past two seasons at No. 3 and 4 singles and No. 2 doubles. He was a second-team NAIA All-American at Auburn Montgomery as a freshman in 2010 and teamed with Michael Johnson for a victory at No. 1 doubles in the national championship dual against Fresno Pacific, which AUM won 5-2. Benkirane and Johnson were 4-0 at that tournament. One of Benkirane's AUM teammates was Loic Didavi, now an XU senior and the Gold Rush's top player a year ago.
     Benkirane was a boys 18 singles national champion in Morocco, and his highest ITF junior worldwide ranking was 181st.
     Montrel is a pre-pharmacy major at Xavier, and Benkirane is majoring in business administration.
     The XU men have won seven consecutive conference or group championships and qualified for the past four NAIA National Championships. The Gold Rush reached the quarterfinals at nationals in 2012 and became the first XU team in any sport to advance that far since 1973.


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

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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(504) 520-7934 fax

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