Nuggets beat Union to reach semifinals of NAIA qualifier
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Freshman Nicole DeLoach earned doubles and singles victories Friday to help Xavier University of Louisiana's women's tennis team earn a 5-0 decision against Union (Ky.) in the opening round of an NAIA National Championship qualifying tournment.
The Gold Nuggets (4-17), seeded second, snapped a six-dual losing streak and advanced to a 10 a.m. EDT Saturday semifinal against third-seeded Milligan, a 5-0 winner against Bethel (Tenn.). Cumberland defeated Tennessee Wesleyan 5-2, and top-seeded Martin Methodist beat Reinhardt 6-1 in th other quarterfinals.
DeLoach, paired for the first time this season with freshman Amber Brown, defeated Marah Rice and Meredith Dambrus 8-0 at No. 2 doubles. DeLoach clinched the dual with her 6-0, 6-1 victory over Dambrus at No. 4 singles.
Melissa DeLoach, a senior and Nicole's sister, teamed with Carmen Nelson for an 8-5 victory over Diane Proteau and Ximena Aguilar at No. 1. The Gold Nuggets also earned default victories at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles.
XU's women won for just the second time in their last 17 duals and won on the road for the first time since Feb. 11. It was the first time this season the Gold Nuggets won without dropping a match.
Xavier defeated Union (2-9) in the postseason for the second time in three years. The first time was in the opening round of the 2009 NAIA National Championship.