Nuggets climb to 7th in NAIA ahead of tournament bid announcement

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana made its fifth climb of the season Sunday in the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

The Gold Nuggets moved from eighth to seventh. Their five climbs this season are their most since 2013.
Indiana Wesleyan, a 5-4 loser to XULA Feb. 18 in the Grizzly Invitational at Lawrenceville, Ga., aided the Gold Nuggets’ ranking with a 5-4 victory Friday at Northwestern Ohio. UNOH fell from fifth to eighth.

XULA’s ranking is its highest of the post-Nour Abbes era. Abbes, an consensus All-America player for the Gold Nuggets in 2014 and 2015, led the Gold Nuggets twice to the national semifinals.

The Gold Nuggets are the lone top-15 team with a losing record (7-13), but they have five victories against ranked opponents. All of XULA’s losses are to ranked or NCAA Division I opponents.

XULA will learn by 5 p.m. Monday if it earned a bid to the NAIA National Championships May 16-20 at Mobile, Ala. The NAIA will announce Tuesday the seedings and the brackets for the event, which will consist of 24 women’s teams and 24 men’s teams.

NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through May 5)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (14) 21-0 374 1
2 Lindsey Wilson 19-4 362 2
3 SCAD Savannah 12-3 350 3
4 Keiser 12-7 337 4
5 San Diego Christian 15-3 319 6
6 William Carey 17-3 313 7
7 XULA 7-13 295 8
8 Northwestern Ohio 19-6 291 5
9 LSU-Alexandria 17-3 275 9
10 Indiana Wesleyan 31-7 272 12
11 Mobile 22-4 257 10
12 William Woods 11-9 248 11
13 Cardinal Stritch 15-5 231 13
14 Arizona Christian 17-8 218 14
15 Cumberlands 15-8 209 15
16 Lewis-Clark State 7-13 193 16
17 Middle Georgia 13-8 179 17
18 Davenport 14-10 167 18
19 Olivet Nazarene 10-11 154 19
20 SCAD Atlanta 12-6 148 20
21 Campbellsville 11-8 137 21
22 McPherson 12-2 107 23
23 Georgetown (Ky.) 16-7 105 25
24 St. Thomas (Fla.) 4-10 91 22
25 Tennessee Wesleyan 12-7 88 RV

Dropped from rankings:  No. 24 Reinhardt
Others receiving votes:  Marian (Ind.) 65, Reinhardt 57, Cumberland 50, Coastal Georgia 40, Brenau 19, Missouri Valley 12, Asbury 9, Southwestern (Kan.) 9, Southeastern (Fla.) 5, Biola 4
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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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