Wednesday, May 11, 2016

No. 17 Gold Nuggets qualify for NAIA tourney again

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana dropped one place to 17th Monday in the NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll, but the Gold Nuggets still earned a berth to next week's national tournament.

The Gold Nuggets (8-13) received the eighth of nine at-large bids. They qualified for nationals for the fifth consecutive year, the eighth time in nine years and the 10th time overall.

The NAIA National Championships will be played May 17-21 at Copeland-Cox Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala. It will be Mobile's 13th consecutive year as host.

The NAIA will announce seedings and the bracket Tuesday.

Xavier will be in familiar company at nationals. The Gold Nuggets played six of the other 23 qualifiers a combined eight times during the regular season. Xavier won one of those matchups, a 5-4 decision at Keiser March 23. Keiser is ranked 14th this week.

Georgia Gwinnett and Auburn Montgomery are 1-2 in the poll. In the previous poll two weeks ago, they shared the top spot and each collected seven first-place votes. But this time the Grizzlies grabbed 11-of-14 first-place votes to surge ahead of AUM, the 2015 champion.

The top-25 appearance is the Gold Nuggets' 38th in a row. They began their streak May 1, 2012.
The lowest-ranked team to earn an at-large bid was No. 18 Cumberland.

NAIA Women's Tennis Coaches' Top 25 Poll

1. Georgia Gwinnett
2. Auburn Montgomery
3. Lindsey Wilson
4. SCAD Savannah
5. Brenau
6. Cardinal Stritch
7. Westmont
8. Indiana Wesleyan
9. Middle Georgia
10. William Woods
11. Arizona Christian
12. Davenport
13. William Carey
14. Keiser
15. Northwestern Ohio
16. Olivet Nazarene
17. Xavier
18. Cumberland
19. LSU-Alexandria
20. Lewis-Clark State
21. St. Thomas (Fla.)
22. McPherson
23. Mobile
24. Reinhardt
25. Georgetown (Ky.)

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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