Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rush reach NAIA quarterfinals for 6th straight year


NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana scored two comeback victories in doubles Wednesday during a 5-0 men's tennis decision against SCAD Savannah in the round of the 16 of the NAIA National Championships.

The Gold Rush (12-5), ranked and seeded second, reached the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive year.

The XULA men will play sixth-ranked/seventh-seeded William Carey in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Thursday.

XULA trailed 5-3 on the second and third courts before completing a sweep of the doubles matches. Karan Salwan and Tushar Mandlekar defeated Quentin Staley - Joshua Tewes-McCoy 8-5 at No. 3, and Catalin Fifea-Pierre Andrieu beat Daiki Naka-Yulin Liu 9-8 (7-2) at No. 2.

XULA is 6-0 in doubles tiebreakers in dual matches this year.

Salwan was the only Gold Rush player to win twice. He gave XULA a 4-0 lead in the dual when he defeated Liu 6-3, 6-1 on the third singles court. Last-minute replacement Adam Albrecht ended the dual with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Mateo Fernandez — Albrecht's first singles victory in two months. The Gold Rush led in three of the four uncompleted matches.

Antoine Richard and Moses Micheal, the ITA's sixth-ranked NAIA doubles team, put the Rush in the lead when they defeated Sean Hajdu and Fernandez 8-1 on the first court.

SCAD Savannah (9-9) made its first appearance at nationals since 2009.

The XULA men will meet William Carey at nationals for the first time but the third time this season. The Gold Rush won 7-2 at Hattiesburg, Miss., March 3 and by the same score April 13 at XULA.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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