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William Carey eliminates Gold Nuggets in NAIA semifinals
May 17, 2013

Results

     MOBILE, Ala. — William Carey gained revenge for a regular-season loss to Xavier University of Louisiana and defeated the Gold Nuggets 5-0 Friday in the semifinals of the NAIA Women's Tennis National Championship.
     The Lady Crusaders (14-8), seeded fifth, upset the top-seeded Gold Nuggets (19-8), who were trying to become the first XU team in any sport to reach the championship round of an NAIA national tournament.
     Sophomore Carola Orna won in doubles and singles to lead William Carey, a 5-1 loser at home to Xavier on April 5. William Carey entered that regular-season dual ranked second, and Xavier was sixth. The April victory helped move the Nuggets to the No. 1 ranking in the final three coaches polls entering the tournament.
     "Today the roles were reversed," XU coach Alan Green said. "William Carey had the mindset we had on April 5. Today we weren't fighting back, and we were letting them do whatever they wanted to do with us."
     The Lady Crusaders swept all three doubles matches — including Orna and Maja Vuzem's 8-6 victory against Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers, No. 1 in the ITA NAIA rankings — and won at the first and sixth singles flights. Orna, ranked 20th in singles, beat sixth-ranked Howell 6-4, 7-5 to end the match.
     William Carey led in all four of the unfinished singles matches.
     "I don't want to take anything away from William Carey," Green said. "They came out way ready to play. Their coaches did a great job getting them ready. They took over the match from the very first ball toss in doubles to the very end. William Carey was not to be denied. That's what we were up against."
     Sarah-Maria Spruch and Julia Angerman gave the Lady Crusaders a 1-0 lead with an 8-2 victory against Simone-Alyse Ewell and Amber Brown. Anastasiya Zviahintseva and Malin Collin made it 2-0 with their 8-5 decision over Amanda Materre and Olivia West.
     Collin, the other Lady Crusader to win in doubles and singles, defeated Jordyn Goody 6-1, 6-1.
     "We got way down in all three doubles matches, then climbed back into two of them, but William Carey closed those out," Green said. "In singles, we showed signs of life on courts 1-5 by playing well in the second sets."
     William Carey will play second-seeded and defending champion Auburn Montgomery for the championship at 1 p.m. Saturday. The men's championship will match Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and Auburn Montgomery at 9 a.m. Xavier — including the Gold Rush, eliminated in Thursday's quarterfinals — will watch it all before traveling home.
     "I want them to see what they should have been doing or could have been doing," Green said of his women. "They've got to absorb every aspect of this tournament. Today they saw how much it hurts. Tomorrow we'll see the champion and how they act and feel."
     The Gold Nuggets entered the semifinals with a school-record 11-dual winning streak, a 16-0 record this season against NAIA opponents and a 12-0 record against ranked NAIA opponents.
     "I told our women we had a really great season," Green said. "There was nothing to hang their heads down about. They were all crying. We have to feel this kind of disappointment before we can become a national champion.
     "Most champions go through this, so this is our process."


 

 
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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