Concordia (Calif.) doubles up to defeat Rush, Nuggets
April 4, 2012
COSTA MESA, Calif. — For the third straight day
at a Xavier University of Louisiana men's tennis dual match, higher rankings
didn't guarantee success. But Wednesday the disappoinment belonged to the
Needing one victory from either of its NAIA-ranked
doubles teams to clinch a dual against Concordia (Calif.), ninth-ranked Xavier
lost both and dropped a 5-4 decision to the 10th-ranked Eagles.
Concordia's eighth-ranked women defeated Xavier 9-0.
The Gold Rush (12-5) were looking for a third victory in as
many days against a higher ranked opponent. The XU men got singles victories
from Zach Taylor, Steffen Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson and led 4-3 after
Viktor Svoboda and Corey Huggins defeated Rafael Coutinho and Ashkon Babaee 8-2
at No. 3 doubles.
But the Eagles (7-9) tied the dual when Ryan McNamara and Patrick Szeremeta
rallied for a 9-7 victory against 25th-ranked Richardson and Giles-Osborn
at No. 2, then Bruno Santarelli and Gernot Hagemann upset third-ranked Loic Didavi and Taylor
8-5 to complete the comeback. Neither of Concordia's winning tandems was ranked,
and the Santarelli-Hagemann triumph gave the Eagles their only lead of the day.
On Tuesday Didavi and Taylor defeated second-rated
Bryan Cox and Rodrigo Schaefer to cap a 6-3 victory against No. 8 Westmont.
What's more, the XU men had won at least two doubles matches in their previous eight
duals against ranked NAIA teams this season.
"It was a crushing way to lose," XU coach Alan Green
said. "Our guys fought hard, and we had a match point up 7-6 at No. 2 doubles.
Hats off to Concordia. They played very well and showed how tough it is to
win out here."
Didavi and Amir Rahbar, both three-set singles winners Monday
in a 5-4 victory at No. 7 Point Loma Nazarene, both lost in three sets this time.
Bruno Santarelli defeated Didavi 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 in a matchup of top-15 players,
and McNamara beat Rahbar 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1 to give the XU sophomore his
first defeat in six three-set matches this spring.
"The sun will rise tomorrow," Green said, "and we will
have to do the same."
The Gold Nuggets (3-19) didn't win a set against
Concordia's women and lost for the 10th time in 11 duals. Seven of the losses
in that stretch are against ranked NAIA teams.
Ninth-ranked Bettina Radke of Concordia (9-6) improved
to 14-1 in singles this spring by defeating No. 35 Kourtney Howell 6-1, 6-1.
Howell beat top-40 players the previous two days.
Jordan Kimura, ranked 16th, clinched the dual with a 6-3, 6-1 decision against
Xavier will conclude its spring-break trip
by returning to Costa Mesa Tennis Center
for 10 a.m. PDT Thursday duals against Vanguard's seventh-ranked men and