Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gold Rush beat OBU, extend home win streak to 16 duals

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana continued its home success, and Antoine Richard and Catalin Fifea defeated regionally ranked singles players Wednesday in a 5-2 men's tennis victory against Ouachita Baptist.

The XULA men (8-3), ranked second in the NAIA, won for the 16th consecutive time at XULA Tennis Center and the eighth time in their last nine dual matches overall. It was the fifth Gold Rush victory of the season against a ranked opponent — the Tigers (3-8) are No. 39 in NCAA Division II.

Richard and Fifea won in singles and doubles. Fifea won 7-5, 6-0 against Juan Moncada, ranked 16th in the D2 Central Region, and Richard used a late surge to beat Lennart Lonnemann, ranked seventh in his region, 6-4, 7-5.

"Antoine was in a pretty good battle," XULA coach Alan Green said. "He got down in the second set, got down mentally, but he overcame that and put together five good games in a row to close out his match."

Karan Salwan got the other XULA singles victory, a 6-1, 6-1 decision against Dan Kaplun. Salwan and Fifea have 6-match singles win streaks.

Richard and Moses Micheal won 9-8 (7-0) against Moncada and Luis Chab, and Fifea and Adam Albrecht — paired for the first time in doubles — rallied from 5-2 and 7-4 deficits to defeat Andre Stefano and Braydon Montgomery 9-8 (7-4).

Next for the Gold Rush will be a noon dual match April 8 at Jackson State.

NOTES: The Gold Rush are 3-0 at home this season after going 7-0 in 2016 and 6-0 in 2015 . . . The XULA men are 19-7 against ranked opponents (all venues) the last three seasons . . . Green said he added Grambling to the Gold Nuggets' schedule. They'll meet at 1 p.m. April 1 at Alexandria, La. As a result, the XULA dual that same day with LSU-Alexandria moved to 9 a.m. Alexandria City Courts will be the site of both duals.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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