XULA tennis teams still high in NAIA rankings

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has made it 7-for-7 this season as the No. 2 team in the NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.

The Gold Rush — 11-5 after a 4-3 Monday victory at the University of New Orleans — once again are ranked behind three-time defending national champion Georgia Gwinnett, which is a unanimous No. 1 for the 26th consecutive poll.

XULA possesses the longest active NAIA streak of men’s tennis top-25 appearances: 84. The streak began April 4, 2007.

The victory against UNO was XULA’s third in a row against an NAIA Division I opponent and the finale of the regular season.

For the first time in seven years, the Gold Rush will not compete in an NAIA unaffiliated group qualifying tournament. However, XULA is expected to receive one of nine at-large bids to the NAIA National Championships at Mobile, Ala., due to its high national ranking — built on the strength of six victories against ranked opponents, four in the top 10.

Upcoming NAIA announcements: next coaches poll May 7, the 24 men’s teams that qualified for nationals May 8 and the seedings and bracket May 9. The tournament’s first round — eight dual matches — will begin May 16. The final round will be May 20.

The Gold Rush’s current ranking would earn it a first-round bye at nationals, and the XULA men would play their first tournament match May 17 in the round of 16.

For the fourth time in the last five polls, Xavier University of Louisiana has climbed in the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 — this time from ninth to eighth.

The Gold Nuggets (7-13) closed their regular season Saturday with an 8-1 home victory against LSU-Alexandria, which climbed from 11th to ninth. The top-10 appearance is XULA’s fourth this season and its 29th all-time.

XULA’s current streak of top-25 appearances is 46. The streak began May 1, 2012.

The Gold Nuggets for the second straight year will not compete in an NAIA unaffiliated group qualifying tournament. However, they are expected to receive one of nine at-large bids to the NAIA National Championships at Mobile, Ala., due to their high national ranking and five victories against ranked opponents.

Upcoming NAIA announcements: next coaches poll May 7, the 24 women’s teams that qualified for nationals May 8 and the seedings and bracket May 9. The tournament’s first round — eight dual matches — will begin May 16. The final round will be May 20.

NAIA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through April 23)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (12) 19-0 312 1
2 XULA 10-5 302 2
3 Keiser 18-4 292 3
4 Northwestern Ohio 19-1 282 4
5 Lindsey Wilson 15-5 272 5
6 William Carey 17-5 261 6
7 Arizona Christian 15-12 244 7
8 William Woods 11-5 243 8
9 Campbellsville 17-3 238 9
10 Cardinal Stritch 14-5 219 10
11 Mobile 22-4 215 11
12 Westmont 13-7 205 12
13 San Diego Christian 6-10 188 13
14 Coastal Georgia 14-7 187 14
15 Reinhardt 10-5 167 15
16 Middle Georgia 9-8 163 16
17 Aquinas 16-6 152 17
18 SCAD Atlanta 10-3 139 18
19 Olivet Nazarene 11-6 125 20
20 SCAD Savannah 8-8 122 21
21 McPherson 8-3 106 22
22 Cumberland 6-5 94 24
23 Tennessee Wesleyan 10-3 86 23
24 Lawrence Tech 18-5 82 RV
25 St. Thomas (Fla.) 5-10 71 25

Dropped from rankings:  No. 19 Cornerstone
Others receiving votes:  Asbury 37, Warner 33, Davenport 27, Missouri Valley 26, Cumberlands 19, Bethany (Kan.) 17, Cornerstone 13, Judson (Ill.) 8, Marian (Ind.) 8, Lewis-Clark State 4, Point 3

NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through April 23)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Georgia Gwinnett (12) 21-0 312 1
2 Lindsey Wilson 17-4 302 2
3 SCAD Savannah 12-3 292 3
4 Keiser 12-7 280 4
5 Northwestern Ohio 17-5 270 5
6 San Diego Christian 15-3 257 6
7 William Carey 13-3 254 8
8 XULA 7-13 240 9
9 LSU-Alexandria 15-3 224 11
10 Mobile 22-4 218 10
11 William Woods 8-9 217 7
12 Indiana Wesleyan 30-7 208 12
13 Cardinal Stritch 11-5 193 13
14 Arizona Christian 17-8 182 14
15 Cumberlands 14-7 174 15
16 Lewis-Clark State 7-13 156 18
17 Middle Georgia 13-8 153 16
18 Davenport 12-9 141 17
19 Olivet Nazarene 9-10 133 19
20 SCAD Atlanta 10-6 122 20
21 Campbellsville 10-7 115 21
22 St. Thomas (Fla.) 4-10 88 22
23 McPherson 8-2 85 23
24 Reinhardt 11-4 84 24
25 Georgetown (Ky.) 16-6 69 RV

Dropped from rankings:  No. 25 Cumberland
Others receiving votes:  Marian (Ind.) 62, Cumberland 47, Coastal Georgia 45, Tennessee Wesleyan 29, Brenau 17, Southwestern (Kan.) 5, Southeastern (Fla.) 5, Missouri Valley 4, Asbury 3
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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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