XU's Didavi, Taylor qualify for small college championships
October 2, 2011
ATLANTA — Xavier University of Louisiana's Loic
Didavi defeated teammate Steffen Giles-Osborn 6-2, 6-4 in the men's singles
final, then teamed with Zach Taylor for a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 doubles upset of
William Carey's top-seeded Jody Claasen and Thomas Rizk on Sunday in the
USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional tennis championships.
The victories qualified Didavi and Taylor for the
USTA/ITA National Small College Championships at Mobile, Ala., on Oct. 13-16.
It will be the first time Xavier will be represented at that event.
"It feels weird being on this end of it," ninth-year
Xavier coach Alan Green said. "Winning a fall regional . . . it's great."
A year ago the Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets had no
finalists in this event, to which Xavier played host. But the arrival of
Didavi, an XU junior and a two-time second-team NAIA All-American at Auburn
Montgomery, and other key recruits is making Green, an eternal optimist,
even more excited.
"I have a good feeling about our teams," Green said.
Didavi, winner of the singles A-flight at the HBCU
National Championships one week earlier, has yet to lose a set in eight singles
matches at Xavier. He's 5-1 in doubles with Taylor, an NAIA All-American in
doubles last season with Hassan Abbas, now an XU student assistant coach.
"The singles final was a treat to just watch as a fan
because both our guys were involved," Green said. "It was different in doubles.
We got off to a good start, then William Carey picked up their game and handled
us in the second. We regrouped in the third set and closed out the match."
Didavi and Taylor, the A-doubles runner-up at the HBCU
tourney, were seeded second this weekend. Didavi made amends for a loss as a
top seed in the NAIA fall regional doubles final a year ago.
Didavi was the No. 2 singles seed, and Giles-Osborn
was unseeded. Giles-Osborn upset William Carey's eighth-seeded Ricky Keppeler
in three sets in Saturday's semifinals.
The Mobile event will conclude Xavier's fall competition.
The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will play dual matches during the spring semester,
and Green will announce that schedule by the end of December.
"We'll be playing a lot of ranked teams in the spring,"
Green said. "We'll be going back to AUM's tournament and back to California for
several matches. We're looking forward to playing the best competition available
and bringing out the best in our players."