Xavier University of Louisiana’s men’s and women’s tennis teams will open their fall schedule Thursday in the HBCU National Championships at South Fulton Tennis Center in College Park, Ga.
The Gold Rush won the team title at last year’s HBCU tourney en route to an NAIA national runner-up finish and No. 2 postseason ranking in May.
Alan Green, back for his 14th season as coach of the XULA men and women, announced Wednesday three more signees for the Gold Nuggets. All three will compete this week. They are:
• Lyndsey Clark, a freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., and Stanton College Preparatory School. She is a chemistry/pre-medical major.
• Emma Kranendonk, a senior from Heemskerk, The Netherlands, and a transfer from an NCAA Division I member, the University of South Dakota. She is majoring in psychology.
• Whitney Vilmaure, a sophomore from Paris and a transfer from NAIA member Reinhardt University. She is a biology major.
Clark won approximately 50 championships in junior tennis and was a 2014 ITA Georgia-Alabama section finalist in singles and doubles in 16s. At Stanton she was all-conference four years and helped her team finish third at the state tournament three times, including 2016. Clark is a third-generation HBCU athlete; her mother and grandmother played tennis for Florida A&M.
Kranendonk last season won a doubles championship at the Drake Invitational, produced a victory at No. 3 singles against the Big Ten’s Minnesota and was second on the Coyotes in doubles victories with 15. She played for another NCAA DI school, Nicholls State, as a freshman and sophomore.
Vilmaure returns to college after helping Reinhardt finish second in the 2014 Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season and tournament and receive votes (29th place) in the NAIA coaches postseason poll. It was the first time the Lady Eagles reached a conference tournament final as an NAIA member.
In Green’s first 13 seasons as coach, he had one Gold Nugget who was 5 feet 9 inches or taller. This season he has three — Clark is 5-11, Kranendonk is 5-10, and Vilmaure is 5-9.
The Gold Nuggets have four newcomers in all. XULA announced in February the signing of Lacee Ancar of Harvey, La., and John Curtis Christian School.
Xavier’s other fall events will be the USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional Championships Sept. 23-25 at Lawrenceville, Ga., and the Big Easy Invitational Oct. 21-22 at the University of New Orleans.