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Gold Nuggets open their new home with a 9-0 victory
January 25, 2013

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     NEW ORLEANS — The women of Xavier University of Louisiana, in the first intercollegiate match at the new XU Tennis Center, rolled to a 9-0 victory Friday against city rival Loyola. It was the spring season opener for both teams.
     The $2.5 million facility opened in late October. It's the first time since 1959-60 that XU can compete outdoors regularly on its campus.
     All-American Kourtney Howell, a junior, led the Gold Nuggets. Howell teamed with freshman Brion Flowers for an 8-0 victory against Frances Bonnin and Meghan de Baroncelli at No. 1 doubles, then defeated de Baroncelli 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Flowers also won her singles match, and Amanda Materre won in singles and doubles.
     Nine players, including three freshmen, contributed to a victory in which the Gold Nuggets did not drop a set. Xavier attracted approximately 100 fans and treated them with free hot dogs.
     "It's so nice to have a true home-court advantage. I didn't know what kind of turnout we would have, but I thought the support was amazing," 10th-year XU coach Alan Green said. "I was very pleased with the crowd, and I think we're going to attract more fans as the season progresses.
     "I was very satisfied with the way we came out and played. We used more women than we probably will in most of our matches, but I wanted everyone who could play to have a piece of this one."
     Freshman Vashi Balleste clinched the dual with her 6-0, 6-0 decision against Wesley Dejoie at No. 6 singles. Amber Brown and Nicole DeLoach also earned singles victories, as did Simone-Alyce Ewell at No. 2 doubles with Materre and Jordyn Goody and Olivia West at No. 3 doubles.
     The Gold Nuggets won their spring season opener for the first time since 2007. It was the first of eight home duals for the XU women; the next one will start at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 against NCAA Division I McNeese State. The next dual will be Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. against another D-I opponent, Nicholls State, in Houma, La.
     The XU-Loyola men's dual was postponed.


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
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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