XU's Taylor selected NAIA and GCAC Player of the Week
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Zach Taylor was selected NAIA Men's Tennis Player of the Week for April 25-May 1. He also won a similar honor from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.
Taylor, a junior from Monroe, La., and a graduate of St. Frederick High School and Ventura College, won 38 of 47 games to help the Gold Rush win both its dual matches in a qualifying tournament at Chattanooga, Tenn., for the NAIA National Championship. Taylor and Hassan Abbas, the NAIA's 15th-ranked doubles team, defeated Martin Methodist's Vinicius Santos — the TranSouth Athletic Conference Player of the Year — and Juan Suarez 8-0 in the championship dual, and Taylor put the Gold Rush ahead to stay with his 6-1, 6-3 victory against Renato Castro.
"Our men had never been in the top 10 or beaten a top-10 team before Zach started playing for us this year," said eighth-year XU Coach Alan Green. "He has been a difference-maker."
Taylor, 10-10 in singles and 15-7 in doubles this season, is the first Xavier athlete to win an NAIA national player-of-the-week award since Brittany Powell (women's basketball) did it for Jan. 18-24, 2010. This is the first season of the NAIA's weekly tennis awards. The GCAC award is Taylor's third this season.
XU's men, 13-9 and ranked ninth, will compete in the NAIA National Championship at Mobile, Ala., from May 17-21.