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Nuggets, Rush will play for NAIA group titles Saturday
April 25, 2014

Results:  Women vs. Oklahoma Baptist    Men vs. Tougaloo    Men vs. Oklahoma Baptist

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's women's and men's tennis teams have returned to a familiar postseason place — the championship round.
     Both the Gold Nuggets (14-6) and the Gold Rush (11-10) advanced to Saturday's finals of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament. The XU women, ranked second in the NAIA, defeated No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist 5-1 in Friday's semifinals after a first-round bye. The XU men, ranked 10th, beat Tougaloo 9-0 in the opening round, then defeated No. 25 Oklahoma Baptist 5-0 in the semifinals.
     The Gold Nuggets will play No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett for the women's title at 9 a.m. Saturday at XU Tennis Center. The men's final, also a Xavier-Georgia Gwinnett matchup, will follow no sooner than 11 a.m. Georgia Gwinnett's men are 16-0 and ranked third.
     The Rush reached the championship round of a conference/unaffiliated group tournament for the 12th consecutive season. The Nuggets reached the final for the 12th time in 13 seasons. Both teams won their group tournaments a year ago as top seeds. But Saturday they'll be underdogs to Georgia Gwinnett teams which beat the Nuggets and Rush at a neutral site in February.
     "Both Georgia Gwinnett teams have played at a high level all season. Both are clearly capable of winning national championships," XU coach Alan Green said. "We know we'll have to play at that level Saturday, match them shot for shot, point for point. It's an awesome challenge, but we look forward to the challenge and the competition."
     The Nuggets won 2-of-3 doubles matches against Oklahoma Baptist (13-10), then got straight-set singles victories from their 4-5-6 players. Amber Brown won 6-0, 6-0 against Kathryn Sild, Brandi Nelson beat Alex Morales 6-2, 6-0, then Simone-Alyse Ewell clinched with a 6-3, 6-1 decision against Ashley Abbe.
     Nelson and Ewell also won in doubles, with Ewell earning her 15th consecutive victory.
     The XU women have seven victories this season against ranked opponents, four against the top 10.
     The XU men climbed above .500 for the first time this season and won for the fifth time in their last six duals. They dropped two games in a rout of Tougaloo (9-14), then got a dramatic doubles comeback from Viktor Svoboda and Adam Albrecht to put a firm grip on momentum against Oklahoma Baptist (6-14).
     After trailing 7-3 at the third flight against Francisco Da Silva and Patrick Sims, Svoboda and Albrecht rallied for a 9-8 (7-4) victory to give Xavier a 3-0 lead in the dual. Tushar Mandlekar won in a singles walkover when Augustin Janssen retired because of injury, then Jordan Harrell clinched with a 6-1, 6-0 decision against Da Silva at No. 4.
     Kyle Montrel and Nikita Soifer, ranked 20th among NAIA doubles teams, knocked off 10th-ranked Marco Carvajal and Dario Macanovic 8-3. It was Montrel and Soifer's second victory of the season against a top-10 doubles opponent.
     It was the sixth victory of the season for the XU men against a ranked team, which equals their total of last season.
     Saturday's team champions will earn automatic bids to next month's NAIA National 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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Xavier University of Louisiana
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Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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