Giles-Osborn clinches Gold Rush victory vs. Crusaders
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Steffen Giles-Osborn rallied Sunday for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 No. 3 singles decision against Dominik Kardell to clinch Xavier University of Louisiana's 5-4 men's tennis victory over William Carey in the AUM Invitational.
Georgetown (Ky.) defeated Xavier's women 6-3.
The Gold Rush (10-5), ranked eighth in the NAIA, never trailed, but William Carey tied the dual at 4 when Younes Hidass defeated Sean Richardson 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. Then Giles-Osborn, ranked 24th in NAIA singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, overcame a first-set loss to score his second victory in his last six singles matches.
Giles-Osborn and Hassan Abbas won in doubles and singles for XU's men, who won two of three duals in this event. Fourteenth-ranked Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson beat Toni Gauta and Hidass 8-2 at No. 2 doubles, and Abbas and Zach Taylor defeated Jody Claassen and Thomas Rizk 9-8 (8-6) at No. 1. Abbas gave Xavier a 3-1 lead when he beat Rizk 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.
Abbas is 4-0 in singles and 4-0 in doubles in two seasons against William Carey.
Freshman Amir Rahbar scored Xavier's fourth point with a 6-3, 6-0 decision against 50th-ranked Gauta at No. 4.
"The match was a grinder until the end," XU Coach Alan Green said. "William Carey has a very good team, and the match could have gone either way. They are very underrated and easily a top-15 team.
"The atmosphere was loud and raucous at a neutral site. We will have to deal with a team with a loud crowd and a bad taste in their mouth when we play at Carey in a few weeks. It will make for a good match, and we can't wait to play them again."
The Gold Nuggets (2-9) lost their seventh in a row and, for the fourth straight time, forfeited the No. 3 doubles match and the No. 5 and 6 singles matches because of a depleted roster. But the XU women -- specifically, sisters Melissa and Nicole DeLoach -- still won three matches, as many as they won in their previous six duals combined.
The DeLoaches won 8-0 against Emily Krick and Rhyan Martin 8-0 at No. 2 doubles. Then Nicole beat Shelby Eden 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 singles, and Melissa followed with a 6-0, 6-2 decision over Natalie Hill at No. 3 to cut Georgetown's lead to 4-3. But 47th-ranked Adrienne Bartlett clinched for the Tigers (2-5) at No. 1 when she defeated Carmen Nelson 6-4, 6-2.
Georgetown was ranked 25th in the NAIA preseason poll and 15 points from the top 25 in last week's rankings.
The Nuggets' next match will start at 3 p.m. Wednesday against Rutgers at City Park Tennis Center, and it will be their fifth of the season against an NCAA Division I opponent. The XU men, who have played seven duals in the last 10 days, will return to competition in a 3:30 p.m. makeup March 25 against city rival Loyola at the University of New Orleans.