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Top-ranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) eliminates Gold Rush
May 15, 2014


     MOBILE, Ala. — Top-ranked and defending champion Embry-Riddle (Fla.) won a pair of close doubles matches Thursday en route to a 5-0 men's tennis victory against ninth-ranked Xavier University of Louisiana in the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship.
     The Eagles (20-3) won their 10th in a row and will play fourth-ranked Vanguard at 1 p.m. Friday. The Gold Rush finished 13-12 and are the only program in XU history to reach the national quarterfinals three consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014).
     Deni Zmak and Simon Felix scored the final four points of tiebreaker — and overcame two Xavier match points — to defeat Kyle Montrel and Nikita Soifer 9-8 (8-6) at No. 1 and give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the dual. Patrick Besch and Jaime Sanchez-Canamares Rios completed the doubles sweep with a 9-7 victory at No. 3 against Viktor Svoboda and Adam Albrecht.
     Svoboda and Albrecht trailed 3-0 but rallied to take 6-5 and 7-6 leads. In Montrel and Soifer's match, neither team led by more than a game.
     "In doubles we missed a great chance to close out a couple of matches and grab the momentum," XU coach Alan Green said. "At No. 1 doubles we missed a shot by an inch with match point. But I can't fault our effort. We played and fought hard against Embry-Riddle and throughout the tournament."
     Felix gave Embry-Riddle a 4-0 lead when he beat Jordan Harrell 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles. Miguel Lopez Gomez clinched when he beat Albrecht 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6.
     It was the second dual of the day for Xavier, which defeated eighth-ranked Belhaven 5-4 after being rained out Wednesday.
     "This tournament was a great experience," Montrel said. "But we need to get to the finals and win it one year. If we add a couple more solid players next year, we'll be fine."
     After a 6-9 start, Xavier won seven of its final 10 duals to clinch its fourth consecutive winning season. There were seven victories against ranked teams — two in the NAIA's top 10 — and two victories against NCAA Division I opponents.
     It was the final XU competition for Svoboda, the team's lone senior and a three-year letterman.


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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