Monday, May 8, 2017

Gold Nuggets will take their 11th trip to nationals

NEW ORLEANS — After achieving success against one of the nation's most challenging schedules, Xavier University of Louisiana women's tennis was announced Monday as one of 24 teams selected for the NAIA National Championships.

The Gold Nuggets — 7-13 with five victories against ranked opponents — qualified for the sixth consecutive season, the ninth time in 10 years and the 11th time overall. XULA received one of 10 at-large bids.

The final pretournament step — the NAIA's announcement of the bracket and seedings — will occur Tuesday. The five-day tournament will begin May 16 at Mobile, Ala.

The top eight seeds will receive first-round byes and play their first matches May 17. The XULA women — No. 7 in the coaches poll announced Sunday — received a bye in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

All of the Gold Nuggets' losses this season are to ranked or NCAA Division I opponents.

A year ago the Gold Nuggets lost 5-2 to Northwestern Ohio in the first round. The Nuggets reached the national semifinals in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

This is the sixth consecutive year and the eighth time in nine years that both XULA tennis teams qualified for nationals. The XULA men received their ninth consecutive bid to nationals Monday.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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