MOBILE, Ala. — Xavier University of Louisiana’s Pierre Andrieu defeated Alvaro Conesa 6-4, 6-3 Thursday to clinch a 5-1 men’s tennis victory against Middle Georgia in the round of 16 of the NAIA National Championships.

The Gold Rush (12-11), ranked and seeded fourth, advanced to the quarterfinals for the seventh consecutive year. That’s the longest active streak of quarterfinal appearances in NAIA men’s tennis. XULA was the national runner-up in 2016 and 2017.

The Rush’s quarterfinal matchup Thursday evening against William Carey was rained out and rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday. Semifinals will begin at 4:30 p.m.

XULA led 2-1 after the doubles. Antoine Richard made it 3-1 with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory against Octavio Tamola, then Gabriel Niculescu defeated Santino Romeo 6-2, 7-5. XULA led in the three unfinished singles matches, including Catalin Fifea, up 4-3 in the third set against Nishanth Rebello after dropping the opening set.

Andrieu, a sophomore, was the only Gold Rush player to win twice. He and Samir Chikhaoui defeated Romeo and Perret 8-4 to tie the dual at one. Fifea and Chris Anders put the Gold Rush ahead to stay with a 9-7 victory against Tamola and Conesa.

Middle Georgia (12-6), ranked and seeded 13th and the Southern States Athletic Conference runner-up, got its only victory when Rebello and Alejandro Prada rallied from a 4-3 deficit for an 8-6 victory against Richard and Shaikh Abdullah.

Courtesy: XULA Athletics


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