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XU's Howell, Flowers win South Regional doubles title

September 29, 2013

Results:  Men    Women

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's top-seeded Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers defeated Brenau's third-seeded Dominika Jasova and Maria Perdomo-Medina 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) in the women's double final of the USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional Championships at XU Tennis Center on Sunday.
     The victory made Howell and Flowers the first from the XU women's program to qualify for the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. That event will be played Oct. 10-13 at Fort Myers, Fla.
     Jasova and Perdomo-Medina rallied from a 4-2 third-set deficit and fought off
     Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers win women's doubles title at 2013 USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional Championships

Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers justified their No. 1 seeding.
a pair of match points in the 12th game, but Howell and Flowers were uncatchable after scoring the first three points of the tiebreaker. Howell and Flowers each hit a pair of winners, and Jasova missed on a shot down the line to end the 2-hour, 29-minute match.
     "I just tried to play the tiebreaker like we had a million points to play, and we wanted to win every point," Howell said. "We did not want to give Brenau anything. No freebies."
     Flowers missed the Nuggets' first fall tournament last week because of a strained back — she was cleared Monday to return to workouts — then won four times in doubles, twice on Sunday, with Howell in her 2013-14 debut.
     "Just a little soreness," Flowers said. "But my back was good every day of the tournament."
     Howell and Flowers benefitted from a verbal-hindrance call during the sixth game of the third set. With Brenau leading 40-30, Perdomo-Medina smashed a winner at Howell which appeared to and the game and tie the set at 3 — but referee Billy Mohr ruled that that Perdomo-Medina's shout as she hit the ball was illegal. Mohr awarded the point to Xavier, which sent the game to deuce. Four points later, Flowers gave Xavier a 4-2 lead with her cross-court backhand shot.
     "I don't think they meant to verbally hinder me," Howell said, "but you can't do that. I've seen that called a few times when I played junior tennis."
     Auburn Montgomery won the other three main-draw titles and also advanced to the National Small College Championships. Zinolabidine Jouini defeated teammate Othmane Lalami 6-3, 6-4 in the men's singles final, top-seeded Nicolas Pinones and Miguel Grifol beat William Carey's Jody Claassen and Philipp Mueller 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 in the men's doubles final, and top-seeded top-seeded Jade Curtis beat second-seeded Jasova 7-5, 6-3 for the women's singles title.
     In singles semifinals, Jasova rallied to defeat fifth-seeded Flowers 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-1). Jasova trailed 5-2 in the second set and 5-4 in the third.
     Howell and Flowers defeated Georgia Gwinnett's Rocio Fernandez and Victoria Svennson 8-5 in the doubles semifinals. Jasova and Perdomo-Medina beat AUM's second-seeded Curtis and Chanel Cunningham 8-5 in the other semifinal.
     Xavier's other Sunday participant was the men's doubles team of Jordan Harrell and Nikita Soifer, who lost 8-3 to Pinones and Grifol in the semifinals.


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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