Friday, January 27, 2017

Rush, Nuggets return to court for duals this weekend

NEW ORLEANS — It's another star-studded, power-packed spring-semester schedule for the men's and women's tennis teams at Xavier University of Louisiana.

The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will play this weekend the first four of a combined 36 regular-season dual matches in 2017. Saturday the XULA men will visit NCAA Division I's Louisiana-Lafayette for duals at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday the Rush and Nuggets will play city rival Loyola at noon at XULA Tennis Center.

Alan Green, in his 14th season as coach of the XULA men and women, announced the schedule Thursday. The competition will be XULA's first since the Big Easy Classic Oct. 28-29.

The Gold Rush — the NAIA national runner-up in 2016 and No. 2 in the preseason coaches poll announced Tuesday — will play five duals against NCAA Division I (UL Lafayette twice, Nicholls State, Florida Atlantic, Jackson State), two against top-10 NCAA Division II opponents (No. 6 Columbus State, No. 9 West Florida), one against a top-10 NCAA Division III opponent (No. 2 Emory) and six against ranked NAIA teams (No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 4 Keiser twice, No. 7 William Carey twice, No. 12 Cumberlands).

The Gold Nuggets — ranked No. 1 a combined five times in 2012 and 2013 and No. 19 in the 2017 preseason — will play seven duals against NCAA Division I (Tulane, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Nicholls State, Florida Atlantic, Jackson State, Southern), two against top-10 NCAA Division II opponents (No. 7 West Florida, No. 8 Columbus State) and nine against ranked NAIA teams (No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 4 Brenau, No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 11 Keiser twice, No. 12 William Carey twice, No. 14 LSU-Alexandria, No. 24 Cumberlands).

There also will be road exhibitions against two-year ASA Miami, whose men are No. 2 and women No. 3 in NJCAA Division I. ASA Miami will be the first of three Rush and Nuggets duals in south Florida in mid-March.

The NAIA National Championships will be played at Mobile, Ala., for the 14th consecutive season. The Gold Rush will attempt to qualify for nationals for the ninth consecutive year and the ninth time overall; the Gold Nuggets will try to qualify for the sixth consecutive year, the ninth time in 10 years and the 11th time overall.

2017 XULA Tennis Schedule
Team(s) Date(s) Opponent Site Time(s)

Men Jan. 28 (Sat.) at Louisiana-Lafayette (DH) Lafayette, La. 10 and 2 p.m.
Both Jan. 29 (Sun.) LOYOLA (N.O.) XU TENNIS CENTER Noon
Women Feb. 4 (Sat.) at South Alabama Mobile, Ala. 11 a.m.
Women Feb. 7 (Tue.) at Southern Miss Hattiesburg, Miss. 2:30 p.m.
Both Feb. 17 (Fri.) Keiser Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 11 a.m. EST
Both Feb. 17 (Fri.) Cumberlands Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 5 p.m. EST
Women Feb. 18 (Sat.) Indiana Wesleyan Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 5 p.m. EST
Men Feb. 18 (Sat.) Emory Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 6 p.m. EST
Both Feb. 19 (Sun.) at Georgia Gwinnett Lawrenceville, Ga. (1) 10 a.m. EST
Women Feb. 27 (Mon.) Brenau Mobile, Ala. 4 p.m.
Both March 16 (Thu.) at ASA Miami (exhibition) North Miami Beach, Fla. TBA
Both March 17 (Fri.) at Keiser West Palm Beach, Fla. TBA
Both March 18 (Sat.) at Florida Atlantic Boca Raton, Fla. TBA
Women April 1 (Sat.) at LSU-Alexandria Alexandria, La. 1 p.m.
Women April 5 (Wed.) at Southern Baton Rouge, La. 3 p.m.
Both April 8 (Sat.) at Jackson State Jackson, Miss. Noon
Women April 9 (Sun.) at Tulane New Orleans, La. 3 p.m.
Both April 13 (Thu.) at West Florida Pensacola, Fla. 1 p.m.
Both April 14 (Fri.) Columbus State Pensacola, Fla. 10 a.m.
Both April 15 (Sat.) at William Carey Hattiesburg, Miss. 11 a.m.
Both TBA NAIA Unaffiliated Group
Tournament TBA TBA
Both May 16 (Tue.) -
May 20 (Sat.) NAIA National Championships Mobile, Ala. TBA

# Gulf Coast Athletic Conference dual match
(DH) doubleheader
(1) Georgia Gwinnett Grizzly Invitational
Home matches (in bold and CAPITAL LETTERS) are played at XULA Tennis Center (capacity 200), Xavier University campus, New Orleans
TBA — to be announced
All times are Central, except where noted
Schedule is subject to change

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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