Tennis: No. 2 Gold Rush make 52nd straight top-10 appearance while Nuggets climb to 9th

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NEW ORLEANS — You’ve heard this before. Xavier University of Louisiana is No. 2 in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.

It’s the sixth consecutive time that the Gold Rush (8-3) are second. The XULA men have won eight of their last nine dual matches; the lone blemish was 5-0 Feb. 19 against Georgia Gwinnett, which Tuesday earned its 24th consecutive unanimous No. 1 ranking.

For the first time in four years, Xavier University of Louisiana has climbed in three consecutive NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 polls.

The Gold Nuggets (5-6) moved Tuesday from 10th to ninth. The XULA women have improved by 10 spots since the preseason poll, mainly on the strength of four victories against ranked opponents. Their most recent dual match was a 9-0 victory at No. 22 St. Thomas (Fla.) March 17.

The 2013 Gold Nuggets climbed six consecutive times in the polls en route to the first-ever NAIA No. 1 ranking by a XULA team in any sport.

The ranking is the Gold Nuggets’ highest since No. 4 on May 20, 2015. This is the 27th all-time top-10 appearance for XULA’s women.

Since the previous poll, the Gold Rush won 8-1 at then-NAIA No. 19 St. Thomas (Fla.) and 5-2 at home against Ouachita Baptist, No. 39 in NCAA Division II.

The next Gold Rush dual match will start at noon April 8 at NCAA Division I Jackson State. The next home appearance will be April 13 at 11 a.m. against NAIA No. 6 William Carey at XULA Tennis Center.

Next for XULA’s women will be a pair of duals Saturday at Alexandria (La.) City Courts against NAIA No. 13 LSU-Alexandria at 9 a.m. and Grambling of NCAA Division I at 1 p.m. The Gold Nuggets’ next home appearance will be April 13 at 11 a.m. against NAIA No. 10 William Carey at XULA Tennis Center.

NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through March 26)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (12) 18-0 312 1
2 XULA 8-3 302 2
3 Keiser 15-3 291 3
4 Northwestern Ohio 12-0 283 5
5 Lindsey Wilson 9-5 272 4
6 William Carey 9-3 262 6
7 Arizona Christian 11-8 250 7
8 William Woods 6-4 235 10
9 Campbellsville 7-3 229 8
10 Cardinal Stritch 5-3 226 9
11 Mobile 16-1 217 11
12 Westmont 5-6 200 12
13 San Diego Christian 4-6 190 13
14 Coastal Georgia 11-5 185 14
15 Reinhardt 8-5 161 16
16 Middle Georgia 9-6 156 18
17 Aquinas 10-3 154 17
18 Tennessee Wesleyan 8-1 123 21
19 Olivet Nazarene 4-5 122 15
20 SCAD Savannah 6-6 110 NR
21 McPherson 1-3 105 20
21 Cornerstone 12-5 105 NR
23 Cumberland 3-2 99 22
24 St. Thomas (Fla.) 5-8 81 19
25 Lewis-Clark State 1-7 75 24

Dropped from rankings:  No. 23 Warner, No. 25 Bethany (Kan.)
Others receiving votes:  Warner 54, Asbury 45, Bethany (Kan.) 41, Loyola (N.O.) 20, Lawrence Tech 17, Biola 14, Cumberlands 10, Marian (Ind.) 10, SCAD Atlanta 8

The Gold Rush active poll streaks:
• 82 consecutive appearances in the top 25 . . . streak began April 4, 2007.
• 73 consecutive appearances in the top 20 . . . streak began April 30, 2008.
• 58 consecutive appearances in the top 15 . . . streak began Feb. 1, 2011.
• 52 consecutive appearances in the top 10 . . . streak began May 3, 2011.
• 14 consecutive appearances in the top 5 . . . streak began Jan. 26, 2016.
• 12 consecutive appearances in the top 3 . . . streak began March 1, 2016.
• 6 consecutive appearances in the top 2 . . . streak began May 25, 2016.

NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through March 26)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (14) 18-0 374 1
2 Lindsey Wilson 11-4 362 2
3 SCAD Savannah 10-3 350 3
4 Keiser 11-5 338 4
5 Northwestern Ohio 10-4 303 15
6 William Woods 4-6 300 6
7-tie San Diego Christian 9-2 298 8
7-tie Mobile 18-2 298 7
9 XULA 5-6 279 10
10 William Carey 9-2 264 9
11 Indiana Wesleyan 22-6 257 11
12 Cardinal Stritch 2-8 248 5
13 LSU-Alexandria 10-0 243 12
14 Davenport 5-4 205 tie-13
15 Arizona Christian 11-6 201 16
16 Middle Georgia 12-5 194 18
17 Olivet Nazarene 1-6 170 17
18 Campbellsville 3-4 163 RV
19 SCAD Atlanta 5-6 141 21
20 Cumberlands 8-6 122 RV
21 McPherson 1-2 114 20
22 St. Thomas (Fla.) 4-8 108 22
23 Lewis-Clark State 3-10 104 tie-24
24 Marian (Ind.) 12-7 102 tie-24
25 Coastal Georgia 10-8 99 RV

Dropped from rankings:  No. 13 (tie) Brenau, No. 19 Cumberland, No. 23 Reinhardt
Others receiving votes:  Reinhardt 90, Cumberland 84, Brenau 76, Georgetown (Ky.) 47, Tennessee Wesleyan 22, Southwestern (Kan.) 7, Westmont 7, Missouri Valley 5, Huntington 5, Texas Wesleyan 3
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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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