Friday, January 22, 2016

XU's Salwan, Montrel in ITA's NAIA preseason top 10

NEW ORLEANS — For the first time in the history of men's tennis at Xavier University of Louisiana, the program has two of the NAIA's top 10 singles players.

Karan Salwan is eighth, and Kyle Montrel is 10th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's preseason rankings. A third Gold Rush player, Tushar Mandlekar, is No. 43.

Salwan, a junior from New Delhi, India, and a graduate of Modern School, is in his first season at Xavier after transferring from NCAA Division I member Utah State. During the fall he won a pair of singles titles and teamed with Mandlekar for a doubles championship.

Salwan and Mandlekar — a junior from Bhilai, India, and a graduate of Deepak Nagar — are No. 13 nationally in doubles.

Montrel, a senior from Atlanta, Ga., and a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, is in the top 10 for the third consecutive time and in the top 20 for the eighth straight time. Montrel is a three-time ITA NAIA All-American.

Salwan is the fourth Gold Rush player to earn a top-10 national singles ranking in the NAIA. The first two were Miroslav Vukicevic and Loic Didavi.

In the ITA's NAIA preseason South Region rankings, Salwan, Montrel and Mandlekar are 4-6-15 in singles, and Salwan and Mandlekar are No. 4 in doubles.

The Gold Rush opened the spring season Monday with a pair of dual-match losses at Louisiana-Lafayette. Next for Xavier will be men's and women's duals at 10 a.m. Jan. 30 — one week from Saturday — against city rival Loyola at XU Tennis Center. Loyola will be the Gold Nuggets' first spring opponent. Xavier has no women ranked nationally or regionally.

The next individual rankings will be announced March 16. The NAIA will reveal Tuesday its preseason men's and women's team rankings.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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