NEW ORLEANS — Tuesday’s women’s tennis result was the same as last year — Nicholls State 4, Xavier University of Louisiana 0 — but you could make a case that the Gold Nuggets, after just four dual matches of the 2017 spring semester, are stronger than they were a year ago.
XULA’s six singles players won a combined 32 games, seven more than they did on the road against Nicholls a year ago. XULA freshman Lacee Ancar led her No. 4 match against Changwei Wei 6-4, 1-2 when the competition was halted because Nicholls had clinched.
Nicholls (2-1) earned four straight-set victories. Lingfeng Gu defeated Emma Kranendonk — who played two seasons for the Colonels — 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1. Mariia Kozachok then beat Brandi Nelson 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3, and Clemence Krug topped Charlene Goreau 6-4, 6-3 in Goreau’s first-ever appearance on the second singles line. Ambika Pande clinched at No. 5 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Dasia Harris.
The Gold Nuggets (1-3) dropped their third consecutive dual, all to NCAA Division I opponents.
“Our women had another tough out today,” XULA coach Alan Green said. “Just could not get into any type of rhythm as a team.”
During the dual the NAIA announced its second coaches poll of the season. The Gold Nuggets remained 19th and are ranked for the 41st consecutive poll dating to 2012. The Gold Nuggets’ next eight countable duals will be against ranked NAIA opponents, with four in this week’s Grizzly Invitational at Lawrenceville, Ga. The XULA women will play Friday at 11 a.m. against No. 9 Keiser and at 5 p.m. against No. 25 Cumberlands, Saturday at 5 p.m. against No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan and Sunday at 10 a.m. against top-ranked and defending national champion Georgia Gwinnett. All times are Eastern.