XU coach pleasantly surprised despite loss to Tulane
NEW ORLEANS — Not all 7-0 losses are created the same.
That's why Xavier University of Louisiana women's tennis coach Alan Green wasn't feeling badly Sunday about his team's season-opening loss at Tulane.
A year ago the Gold Nuggets opened their spring semester with the same opponent, won just one game in singles and lost by the same team score. But this time XU's singles players won 23 games. And at the No. 1 flight Kourtney Howell split sets with Emma Levy before dropping the super-tiebreaker in a 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4) decision.
"I didn't have any expectations for this match," Green said. "I just wanted to see where we were in this match compared to our last match last season. I was pleasantly surprised by the way we played. We put up a lot more numbers on the scoreboard than we did against Tulane a year ago. We have a lot to look forward to."
Looking forward is understandable for the Nuggets, who were 4-18 a year ago and played the entire regular season with five players. They saw their top-25 poll streak end at 44 weeks, lost in the semifinals of their NAIA unaffiliated group tournament and failed to qualify for the NAIA National Championship for just the second time in seven seasons.
Howell, a sophomore who was ineligible a year ago after transferring from Navy, made her Xavier debut Sunday. So did freshmen Amanda Materre, a 6-4, 6-4 loser to Hila Elster at No. 3 singles, and Jordyn Goody, a 6-0, 6-1 loser to Jessica Lange at No. 5.
Xavier did not win a game in any of its three doubles matches against the NCAA Division I Green Wave (2-0).
"Tulane has a good and very deep team," Green said.
Green announced that his teams' next dual matches have been pushed back two days by mutual agreement. So the XU women and men will play the University of New Orleans at 4 p.m. Friday at City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center.