Jaguars beat Nuggets, but Howell breaks through at No. 1
MOBILE, Ala. -- Sophomore Kourtney Howell scored the first dual-match point of the season for Xavier University of Louisiana's women's tennis team, but South Alabama earned a 6-1 victory Saturday.
It was the second loss in less than 24 hours for the Gold Nuggets (0-3) as they begin their spring semester with five consecutive NCAA Division I opponents. But Howell, after splitting sets against the No. 1 singles players of Tulane and New Orleans, broke through against USA's Chané Hines, a senior and a three-time South African national champion.
Howell defeated Hines 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5). Xavier had dropped 12 straight No. 1 singles matches against NCAA D-I opponents since April 17, 2010.
"Kourtney's win was huge for her because it was her third straight three-set match," XU coach Alan Green said.
Xavier didn't win any other sets and collected just two games in three doubles matches, but Green also cited senior Ashley McGill, a 6-2, 6-4 loser to Veronika Kalugina at No. 6 singles.
"I was extremely proud of Kourtney and Ashley," Green said. "Everyone played hard, but those two stood out. We faced another tough opponent, but we played better than we did yesterday (in a 9-0 home loss to New Orleans). We're taking baby steps."
South Alabama is 2-0.
Both Xavier teams will visit Prairie View A&M in 3 p.m. duals Friday.