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Third place for Howell and Flowers in fall season finale
October 11, 2013

     FORT MYERS, Fla. — Xavier University of Louisiana's Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers lost in the semifinals, then won the third-place match Friday in the NAIA division of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.
     Howell and Flowers, seeded first in their division, lost 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 1-0 (10-5) to Lindsey Wilson's unseeded Jessica King and Alicia Rodriguez. But the Gold Nuggets' duo defeated another upset victim, second-seeded Amy Grossklag-Fritz and Jenna Elliott of Evangel, 6-4, 6-4 to earn third place.
     It was the final fall event for Xavier, whose women and men will play dual matches beginning in late January.
     King and Rodriguez won six of the first seven points in the super-tiebreaker. Howell and Flowers closed the lead to 6-4 but didn't get any closer.
     In the third-place match, Howell and Flowers won four of the first five games and broke Grossklag-Fritz's serve to end the first set, then rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the next set to give them their 16th victory in their last 19 matches dating to March of last season.
     "This was a bittersweet trip out here to nationals," XU coach Alan Green said. "We were capable of winning here and advancing to the Super Bowl but we were just outplayed by Lindsey Wilson in the final tiebreaker.
     "But we also realize that third place is no small potatoes and the furthest we've ever gone in Xavier women's history. I'm proud of what we did out here."
     King and Rodriguez lost 6-3, 6-2 to Hui-I Huang and Kristina Marova of Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in the NAIA final. The victory advanced Huang and Marova to the National Small College Super Bowl this weekend against winners of the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and junior/community college brackets. That winner will earn a wild-card berth in next month's USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.


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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