LSUA will host No. 11 Xavier Saturday at Alexandria City Park as both teams are focused on trying to return to the NAIA Tournament.
For Gold Nugget junior Sha'Nel Bruins, it will be a return home to Central Louisiana, where she was a two-sport star at Grant, being named to the All-Cenla basketball team and winning the Class 4A girls singles tennis title in 2013 as a senior.
While she is seeing it as another match and looking to help her team rebound from a 6-3 loss to No. 6 William Carey Feb. 6, she is happy that her family can see her play.
"I don’t really feel any nervousness or anything, I just want to focus on our team winning and playing my best to help ensure us of a win," Bruins said. "I’m grateful that I will have the opportunity to return home and play. My parents sometimes travel down to New Orleans to watch me, but that is seldom. So it’s nice that it’s closer to home so they’re able to come."
This season, Bruins made the C-Flight semifinals at the HBCU National Championships and reached the consolation finals at the USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional Championships and has steadily improved her game over the last two seasons.