Gold Rush to play Vanguard in second round of nationals
MOBILE, Ala. — Xavier University of Louisiana will get a rematch with Vanguard in Wednesday's second round of the NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship at Copeland-Cox Tennis Center.
Xavier, 13-9 and the No. 8 seed, had a first-round bye Tuesday. Vanguard, 8-13 and the No. 9 seed, advanced to the second round with a 9-0 victory against No. 24 Mobile.
The XU men won 6-3 at Vanguard on March 4 for their first-ever victory against a top-10 NAIA opponent. The Gold Rush won at the top two doubles flights and got singles victories from Zach Taylor, Hassan Abbas, Amir Rahbar and Sean Richardson. Taylor clinched the dual with his 6-2, 7-5 victory against Pereira, the NAIA's 10th-ranked singles player.
This is Xavier's third consecutive appearance at nationals. The Gold Rush lost in the second round to the eventual runner-up each of the past two seasons after first-round victories against Oklahoma Christian in 2009 and Tennessee Wesleyan in 2010.
The Gold Rush will try to become the second Xavier team in any sport to reach the NAIA quarterfinals. The only time it happened was in men's basketball in 1973.
Vanguard, from Costa Mesa, Calif., reached the NAIA quarterfinals six of the last seven seasons and was a semifinalist in 2004 and 2000. The Lions tied for fifth place in the Golden State Athletic Conference and are one of six GSAC teams ranked among the final top 12.
Higher seeds won seven of eight first-round matches Tuesday. The exception was No 17 St. Thomas (Fla.), which defeated No. 16 Aquinas 5-4.