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Gold Rush win 4-3 at UNO; Soifer delivers when needed
March 20, 2013

Results:  Men    Women

     NEW ORLEANS — If the Xavier University of Louisiana men's tennis team had a LinkedIn profile online, there's no doubt that the Gold Rush would receive multiple endorsements for handling pressure. The first to endorse would be XU coach Alan Green.
     On Wednesday, for the fourth time in as many opportunities this season, the Gold Rush delivered the clinching point in the final completed match. Nikita Soifer's 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles against Ricardo Campos gave Xavier a 4-3 victory at the University of New Orleans.
     The Xavier women lost 6-1 to UNO.
     It was the third time this season that the Gold Rush, 8-5 and ranked eighth in the NAIA, clinched in the final match against an NCAA Division I opponent. Soifer trailed 5-1 in his first-set tiebreaker before winning the next six points, then closed his match and the dual in the second set. Soifer is 3-0 this season in tied-dual-one-match-remaining scenarios; Viktor Svoboda has the other such victory.
     Svoboda tied the dual at 3 with his 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 victory against Hossam Meligy at No. 4. Svoboda led 5-1 in the second set, then won the final three points of the tiebreaker after Meligy had match point at 6-5.
     "It was another good match for the guys," Green said. "It was tough, but they pulled it out. We've had matches when one or two guys don't have their best days, but the other guys pick it up for them."
     Xavier won the doubles point and got a 6-1, 6-1 victory from Loic Didavi against Rui Silva at No. 1 singles. Didavi has a six-match singles win streak, and Svoboda has won five in a row. Svoboda and Soifer have won six consecutive doubles matches.
     The Gold Rush are 5-0 this season when Didavi, Soifer and Svoboda all win in singles and 7-1 when the top two doubles teams — Didavi and Kyle Montrel at No. 1, Soifer and Svoboda at No. 2 — both win.
     In the women's dual, Kourtney Howell scored the Gold Nuggets' only point with her 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (17-15) victory against Marta Sans at No. 1 singles. It was the ninth victory in the last 12 singles matches for Howell, with five of the victories coming against NCAA D-I opponents. But Howell and Brion Flowers, the Nuggets' top doubles team, suffered their most lopsided loss of the semester, 8-1 to Kristina Martic and Soledad Calderon.
     "Tough day for the Nuggets. That's all I want to say about that," Green said.
     The Gold Nuggets, also ranked eighth in the NAIA, are 8-7. All their losses are against NCAA D-I opponents. UNO's women are 5-10, and the men are 6-6.
     Xavier will depart New Orleans on Monday for dual matches in Florida during spring break. First for the Rush and Nuggets will be Webber International at 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday. Xavier altered its schedule for the final two days of the trip and will play Northwood on March 27 and Embry-Riddle the following day. The next XU home duals will be April 6 against Auburn Montgomery.


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.

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