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High ITA rankings make Didavi, Taylor, Howell All-America

Lic Didavi

Loic Didavi
     Zach Taylor

Zach Taylor
     Kourtney Howell

Kourtney Howell
     June 11, 2012

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Loic Didavi, Zach Taylor and Kourtney Howell have been named NAIA All-America for the 2011-12 season by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
     The three earned the honor by being top 20 in singles or top 10 in doubles in the ITA's postseason individual rankings. Didavi, a junior from Cotonou, Benin, and a graduate of Lycée
Jean Dautet, La Rochelle, was ranked eighth in singles and sixth in doubles with Taylor, a senior from Monroe, La., and a graduate of St. Frederick High School and Ventura College. Those are the highest final NAIA rankings of the Gold Rush.
     Taylor ranked 19th in singles. This is the second straight year he's an ITA All-American; he qualified last year when he and Hassan Abbas ranked 10th in doubles. Taylor is Xavier's first two-time ITA All-American, male or female.
     Howell, a sophomore from Cypress, Texas, and a graduate of Cypress Woods High School, set a Gold Nuggets record with her No. 15 final ranking.
     Also ranked nationally in the postseason were XU's Viktor Svoboda, 33rd in men's singles, and the men's doubles team of Steffen Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson at No. 16. Amanda Materre was 36th in singles and was one of eight NAIA freshmen in the women's final top 50.
     Svoboda is a sophomore from Kamenice, Czech Republic, and a graduate of Vitezna Plan. Giles-Osborn is a senior from Atlanta and a graduate of Westlake High School. Richardson is a senior from Ellenwood, Ga., and a graduate of Stockbridge High. Amanda Materre is from Richmond, Texas, and a graduate of Westside High.
     This is the first time that the XU men have three in the final singles top 50, and it's their first time with two teams in final doubles top 20. Xavier is one of seven men's programs — the others are Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Fresno Pacific, Point Loma Nazarene, Vanguard, Westmont and national champion Oklahoma Christian — with at least three singles players and two doubles teams in this year's final rankings.
     Materre is the first XU female in the final singles top 50 since Dominique Bell was 30th in 2003-04. Giles-Osborn is in the final doubles top 20 for the third time.
     Both Xavier teams won unaffiliated group championships to qualify automatically for the NAIA National Championships. The Gold Rush reached the quarterfinals at nationals and became the first XU team in any sport to advance that far since 1973.


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.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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