For the 11th time in 12 seasons and the eighth time in a row, Xavier University of Louisiana men's tennis earned a first-round bye in the NAIA National Championship Tournament in Mobile. The NAIA announced Tuesday that XULA (17-6) is seeded seventh and will play 10th seed Middle Georgia or 23rd seed Midland in the Round of 16 at 1 PM.
May 17 at Copeland-Cox Mobile Tennis Center (851 Gaillard Drive, zip code 36608, phone 251-208-5181). Admission is free for each round. Middle Georgia (13-6) and Midland (17-7) will meet in the first round at 1:00 p.m. May 16th.
Twenty-four qualified teams. XULA earned an automatic bid to the national teams by winning April 4-3, 22 at home against Our Lady of the Lake in the final round of an unaffiliated group tournament. This is XULA's 14th consecutive international appearance and 14th overall.
Series do not include 2020 when the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Gold Rush are three-time NAIA national runners-up, finishing second to Georgia Gwinnett in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Men's tennis is the only XULA program to reach the championship round of an NAIA national tournament in brackets.
In order from the top, XULA's singles lineup will be Jacobi Bain, Julius Hell, Nereo Suarez, Mathieu Strauss, Jered Wilson and Dedric Ray. The doubles teams will be Bain and Suarez at number 1, Strauss and Wilson at number 2, and Hell and Ray at number 3.
Bain and Suarez are runners-up in the NAIA Intercollegiate Tennis Association doubles rankings.
About the XULA
Xavier University of Louisiana is a private, historically black, Catholic university in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It is the only Catholic HBCU and, following the canonization of Katharine Drexel in 2000, became the first Catholic university founded by a saint. Senator Barack Obama gave the keynote address in August 2006. The Archbishop of New Orleans, Alfred C.
Hughes, declined to attend, arguing that Obama was not against abortion and that he had not been consulted before the 'event. Obama returned after becoming president, visiting New Orleans in August 2010 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
He gave Xavier a speech complimenting the community leaders' work and affirming their commitment to continue to help rebuild the area. Xavier's athletic teams are called the Gold Rush and the Gold Nuggets. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, primarily participating in the Red River Athletic Conference as of the 2021-22 academic year XULA competes in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports: men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, tennis, and track and field; women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball; and coed sports include competitive cheering. Previous sports included football.
Photo credit: pic by XULA webiste
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