NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana is No. 2 in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll announced Tuesday.
It’s the highest-ever preseason ranking by a XULA tennis team, male or female. The Gold Rush, 17-8 a year ago, were No. 2 in the 2016 postseason poll after becoming the first XULA team in any sport to reach the championship round of an NAIA national tournament. The Gold Rush lost the final 5-2 to Georgia Gwinnett at Mobile, Ala.
XULA has the longest active streak of NAIA men’s tennis top-25 appearances, 78. The streak began April 4, 2007. The Gold Rush ascended to the top of the active-streak list after Auburn Montgomery departed the NAIA this past summer.
Georgia Gwinnett, winner of the last three NAIA team titles, is a unanimous choice for No. 1. The Gold Rush and the Grizzlies will meet Feb. 19 at GGC’s Grizzly Invitational.
The XULA men will play their first dual matches of the spring semester Saturday at NCAA Division I Louisiana-Lafayette. The Gold Rush and Ragin’ Cajuns will play at 10 a.m. and a second time at 2 p.m. The home opener will start at noon Sunday at XULA Tennis Center against city rival Loyola, which received poll votes.
The next top 25 will be announced Feb. 14.
|NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records from previous season)