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Didavi is NAIA Player of Week; Howell wins GCAC honor


April 11, 2012


     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Loic Didavi, who has earned his share of national recognition this season, was selected NAIA Men's Tennis Player of the Week for April 2-8.
     Didavi also was selected Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week, and Xavier's Kourtney Howell won the GCAC award in women's tennis for the second time this season.


Kourtney Howell

Kourtney Howell

          Didavi, a junior from Cotonou, Benin — a coastal city in West Africa — defeated three ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams in four days during Xavier's spring-break trip to California. Didavi beat No. 5 Bryan Cox of Westmont, No. 9 Lucas Pereira of Vanguard and No. 19 Tyler Bowman of Point Loma Nazarene, and he teamed with Zach Taylor to defeat No. 2 Cox and Rodrigo Schaefer and No. 12 Bowman and Gregory De Andrade. His 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 victory against
Bowman clinched XU's 5-4 victory against then-No. 7 Point Loma.
     Didavi finished the week 3-1 in singles and 2-2 in doubles, with all but one opponent ranked nationally.
     Didavi, in his first season at Xavier, placed fifth in singles and third in doubles with Taylor in the NAIA division of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in October. He was a second-team NAIA All-American the past two seasons at Auburn Montgomery. He is ranked 11th in singles and third in doubles with Taylor.
     This is the second time that a Gold Rush tennis player received the NAIA award. Taylor did it in 2011.

    
Loic Didavi
Xavier's Loic Didavi is 21-6 in singles and 21-7 in doubles in the 2011-12 season.
     Howell, a sophomore from Cypress, Texas, and a graduate of Cypress Woods High School, was 2-2 in singles and 2-2 in doubles. She defeated No. 21 Maika Adair of Point Loma Nazarene and No. 38 Nicci Yvanovich of Westmont, giving her four singles victories this season against ranked players. Both her singles losses were to top-10 players.
     The XU men and women will conclude the regular season by traveling to Mississippi for matches on Saturday against Tougaloo at 9 a.m. and Alcorn State at 3 p.m. Then the Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will compete April 27-28 in an NAIA unaffiliated group tournament at Norcross, Ga.

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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