By Brad Cygan
NAIA Director of Communications
MOBILE, Ala. – [Schedule | Bracket] After another stellar performance in Mobile, Ala., Georgia Gwinnett earned its sixth NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship for the sixth consecutive season in a 5-0 victory over Xavier (La.) on Saturday. The championship places the Grizzlies in a tie for third all-time in team championships in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), along-side former member Lamar Tech (Texas).
Georgia Gwinnett led-off with a victory at No. 2 doubles as Rafael Coutinho and Valentino Caratini defeated Pierre Andrieu and Ghassan Alansi 8-2 to snag the first point of the match. This, was the largest margin of victory for the Grizzlies in doubles play. Xavier’s team of Gabriel Niculescu and Chris Anders made it close at No. 3 doubles, but were unable to gain the advantage as Georgia Gwinnett took the court, 8-5.
After a commanding 3-0 lead in doubles, the Grizzlies sealed the deal at Nos. 6 and 2 singles. No. 24-ranked Mika Kosonen began with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Samir Chikhaoui to put his team one win away before Georgia Gwinnett wrapped it up at No. 2. No. 3-ranked Federico Bonacia defeated Alansi 6-0, 6-3 to secure the red banner for the team from Lawrenceville, Ga.
Georgia Gwinnett is the winningest active NAIA men’s tennis program with its sixth title. Oklahoma City’s four championships rank the Stars second on the active list. The Grizzlies are a perfect 24-0 all-time in championship play.
Xavier (La.) has been the runner-up to Georgia Gwinnett in three out of the last four seasons in Mobile.
2018 NAIA Men’s Tennis Outstanding Player of the Tournament: Federico Hererra Duran, Georgia Gwinnett