Saturday, May 21, 2016

XU tops No. 14 Westmont, reaches quarterfinals again

MOBILE, Alabama — Adam Albrecht and Thomas Setodji won in doubles and singles Wednesday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana to a 5-1 men's tennis victory against Westmont in the second round of the NAIA National Championship.

The Gold Rush (15-7) — ranked third in the most recent coaches poll and seeded third in the tournament — advanced to the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive year. Xavier will play sixth-ranked Keiser, a 5-1 winner against William Carey, at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Westmont, ranked and seeded 14th, finished 10-9.

Xavier won 2-of-3 doubles matches and dominated in singles, dropping only one set. When Setodji clinched with his 6-1, 6-2 victory against Luke Whalen, teammates Kyle Montrel and Tushar Mandlekar still were on court — both led 6-1, 5-0.

Albrecht and Mandlekar won eight straight games in an 8-1 victory against Tommy Nightingale and Jordan Strandness that gave Xavier the first point of the dual. The Warriors evened when Whalen and Christian Mathis beat Montrel and Karan Salwan 8-5, but Setodji and Kevin Chaouat put the Gold Rush ahead to stay, rallying from a 4-2 deficit for an 8-5 victory against Carl-Philip Lindqvist and Travis Kimsey.

Salwan gave the Gold Rush a 3-1 lead by winning eight consecutive games in a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Lindqvist, the ITA's 12th-ranked NAIA singles player. Albrecht rolled to a 6-0, 6-2 victory against Jordan Strandness, then Setodji produced his team-leading seventh clincher of the season and sixth in Xavier's last nine victories.

Setodji, a freshman, is 15-0 in singles. His opponent, Whalen, was ranked 32nd.

Xavier and Westmont were the last teams to finish on a day when the NAIA shoehorned the round-of-16 matches and Tuesday's washed-out first round. The Gold Rush and Warriors started at 9:30 p.m. and did not finish until 12:05 a.m.

Xavier will get a rematch with Keiser. The Gold Rush won 7-2 March 23 at Keiser. The Gold Rush are 0-4 in the quarterfinals, including a 5-4 loss to Vanguard a year ago. However, this will be the first time that Xavier is the higher seed in the quarterfinals.

The top eight seeds advanced, including two-time defending champion Georgia Gwinnett. The Xavier-Keiser winner will play the Auburn Montgomery-Lindsey Wilson winner in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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