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Xavier University of Louisiana Men Team News
Rush get first-round bye at NAIA National Championship
Wednesday, 05/11/2011

Rush get first-round bye at NAIA National Championship


     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana received a first-round bye when pairings were announced Tuesday for the NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship.
     The Gold Rush (13-9) are seeded eighth — the same position as in the final coaches poll announced Monday — and will play at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18 against the winner of a first-round match between ninth-seeded Vanguard (7-13) and 24th-seeded Mobile (6-7).
     All matches will be played at Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala. The Vanguard-Mobile dual will be one of eight played May 17, and the tournament will conclude May 21. Twenty-four teams qualified, and eight received byes.
     Xavier qualified automatically for nationals by winning the Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament April 29-30 at Chattanooga, Tenn. Vanguard received an at-large bid, and Mobile qualified as host institution.
     Xavier earned its first victory against a top-10 NAIA opponent with its 6-3 decision at Vanguard on March 4. The Lions, a quarterfinalist five of the last six seasons and a semifinalist in 2000 and 2004, beat the Gold Rush 6-3 in 2010 and 5-4 in 2008 in regular-season duals.
     Xavier did not play Mobile this year, but the Gold Rush were 8-0 against the Mobile the previous three seasons, including victories in the finals of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournaments in 2008 and 2009. Mobile competed in the Southern States Athletic Conference this year.
     This is the third consecutive year that the XU men qualified for the national tournament. In 2009 the Gold Rush defeated Oklahoma Christian 5-4 in the first round, then lost to eventual runner-up Auburn Montgomery 5-0. Last year the Gold Rush beat Tennessee Wesleyan 5-3 in the first round, then lost 5-1 to eventual runner-up Fresno Pacific.
     Fresno Pacific, a 5-2 loser to Auburn Montgomery in the 2010 final, is the No. 1 seed and could play Xavier in the quarterfinals May 19.