Svoboda, Howell selected GCAC Players of the Week
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana tennis players Viktor Svoboda and Kourtney Howell are the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Players of the Week for March 5-11.
Svoboda, a sophomore from Kamenice, Czech Republic, was 5-1 in singles matches and 5-1 in doubles to help the Gold Rush win 5-of-6 duals, four against NAIA top-25 opponents. Svoboda won all his matches against top-10 opponents Auburn Montgomery and Shorter, and three times he won in singles in super-tiebreakers.
Howell, a sophomore from Cypress, Texas, and a graduate of Cypress Woods High School, was 5-1 in singles and 4-2 in doubles. Howell defeated ITA-NAIA ranked singles players on consecutive days — in straight sets against Martin Methodist's 38th-ranked Paloma Cortina, the 2011 TranSouth Conference Player of the Year, and in a super-tiebreaker against Shorter's 22nd-ranked Candice Laurent. Howell also beat the No. 1 singles players of top-25 teams Belhaven and Campbellsville.
Both XU teams will play NCAA Division I member Nicholls State at 3 p.m. Wednesday at City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center. Xavier's men are 9-2 and ranked ninth in the NAIA; the women are 2-12 and receiving votes in the national poll. Nicholls' men were 5-5 entering a home dual Tuesday with Texas-Pan American, and the women are 3-6.