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XU hosts NAIA qualifying tournament with star power
April 23, 2014

Tournament bracket (PDF file)    Tournament scoreboard

     NEW ORLEANS — Six ranked tennis teams, including the women and men of Xavier University of Louisiana, will compete Friday in the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament at two local sites.
     Of the six women's teams in Group 2, three are in the top 10 of the NAIA coaches poll — No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 2 Xavier and No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist. Of the eight men's teams, Georgia Gwinnett is No. 3, Xavier is No. 10, and Oklahoma Baptist is No. 25. Georgia Gwinnett's men are 14-0 with 10 victories against ranked teams from the NAIA and NCAA divisions II and III.
     Individually, Xavier's Nour Abbes, Georgia Gwinnett's Valeria Podda and Oklahoma Baptist's Anastasia Baranova are 2-3-4 in the ITA's most recent ranking of NAIA women's singles players. Those schools also have three of the NAIA's top five women's doubles teams, including Xavier's No. 5 Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers.
     Abbes, a freshman, is 13-0 in singles this season.
     In men's singles, Georgia Gwinnett's Bruno Tiberti is No. 4, and Oklahoma Baptist's Marco Carvajal is No. 7. Tiberti and Carvajal are part of top-10 doubles teams.
     Nine-of-10 Friday duals will be played at the University of New Orleans. The exception will be the XU men's first-round dual against Tougaloo, which will start at 9 a.m. at XU Tennis Center. UNO will play host to the semifinals on Friday afternoon, and both championship duals will be played Saturday at Xavier.
     Xavier's women (13-6) have a bye into the semifinals and will play Oklahoma Baptist or Our Lady of the Lake at 2 p.m. Friday at UNO.
     If Xavier's men defeat Tougaloo, they will play Oklahoma Baptist or the University of the Southwest in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday at UNO.
     The men's and women's champions will receive automatic bids to the NAIA National Championship May 13-17 at Mobile, Ala.
     The NAIA has three unaffiliated groups for tennis this season. Group 2 is comprised of teams from the Gulf Coast Athletic, Sooner Athletic and Red River Athletic conferences, plus Georgia Gwinnett from the Association of Independent Institutions. Those conferences do not have the minimum six tennis-playing schools to earn automatic bids to nationals, so the NAIA combines them to form a group which can qualify for an automatic bid.
     The Gold Rush have a school-record active streak of eight consecutive conference/group championships. The Gold Nuggets have won nine conference/group championships in the past 11 seasons, including 2013.
     The Gold Rush (9-9) have one regular-season dual remaining -- 2 p.m. Thursday against Alcorn State at XU.


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
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(504) 520-7934 fax

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