XULA defeats Middle Georgia 5-0 to win Southern States regular-season championship

By Ed Cassiere, Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications,



MOBILE, Ala. — Xavier University of Louisiana women’s tennis defeated Middle Georgia 5-0 Saturday to win the Southern States Athletic Conference regular-season championship.
All-American Lailaa Bashir clinched for XULA — 10-4 overall, 5-0 SSAC and ranked third in the NAIA — with her 6-2, 6-1 victory against Margot Fontaine on the second singles court.
Kyra Akinnibi and Farah Baklouti clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 victory against Rebeca Lopez and Lou Dupuis Kowalski. Akinnibi, Baklouti and Angela Charles-Alfred won in singles.
Middle Georgia (4-3, 2-2) is ranked 13th in the NAIA.
In three days XULA won four dual matches in Mobile — three against teams in the top 18 — to clinch its 11th team championship at the conference or group level. This is XULA’s first season as an affiliate member of the Southern States in tennis.
The team championship is XULA’s 148th all-time in all sports and its fifth of the 2020-21 academic year.
In five SSAC matches — including a 7-0 home victory Feb. 8 against city rival Loyola — XULA won 26 dual-match points and lost none. XULA is the only SSAC women’s team of the last 16 seasons to not allow a point in regular-season conference matches. Bashir and Charles-Alfred both went 5-0 in SSAC singles, and as a doubles team they were 4-0. Akinnibi and Baklouti won all five of their doubles matches.
XULA will return to Mobile for the SSAC Tournament April 15-17. XULA will have an opening-round bye and play April 16 in the semifinals. The tournament winner will receive the league’s automatic bid to NAIA nationals.
XULA’s women and men will return home Saturday, then travel Sunday to Thibodaux, La., to play NCAA Division I Nicholls State at 2 p.m.

About Willie Alex Hines 5322 Articles
A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.