Sunday, April 16, 2017

XULA Richard wins on road vs. NCAA Division II's #3 player

PENSACOLA, Florida — Xavier University of Louisiana men's tennis freshman Antoine Richard defeated one of the best players in NCAA Division II Saturday in a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) decision against West Florida senior Alex Peyrot.

Richard — a left-hander from Laval, Quebec, a graduate of Le Tremplin and the ITA's fourth-ranked NAIA singles player — won for the ninth time in 13 decisions this semester and stretched his win streak to six. Richard ended the 8-match win streak of Peyrot, who is third-ranked in NCAA D2.

"I just needed to stay focused throughout the match and keep fighting," said Richard, who won in three sets for the second time this week. "I felt good in the tiebreaker, felt fresh. I had been training well recently."

The victory gave Richard a split for the day with Peyrot, who teamed with Pedro Dumont for an 8-5 doubles victory against Richard and Moses Micheal.

West Florida won both dual matches against XULA, topping the Gold Rush 7-2 and the Gold Nuggets 9-0. West Florida's men (23-1) are ranked first in NCAA D2, and its women (20-6) are ranked sixth.

Karan Salwan scored the other XULA victory when his singles opponent, Warren Kuhn, retired because of an injury with Kuhn leading 6-3, 1-3. The Gold Rush (10-5), ranked second in the NAIA, lost to a top-10 D2 team for the second straight day. So did the Gold Nuggets (6-13), who are ranked ninth and have dropped six straight overall.

Emma Kranendonk, the only Gold Nugget to win a set, lost 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 to regionally ranked Paula Coyos.

The Gold Nuggets will play their home finale at 1 p.m. Saturday against NAIA No. 11 LSU-Alexandria. Dual matches Tuesday at the University of New Orleans were postponed for the Gold Rush and canceled for the Gold Nuggets. The Rush instead will visit UNO April 24 or 25, and the women's dual was dropped at the request of UNO coach Burzis Kanga.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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