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Loic Didavi

Loic Didavi
     Kyle Montrel

Kyle Montrel
     Viktor Svoboda

Viktor Svoboda
     Kourtney Howell

Kourtney Howell
     Alan Green

Alan Green

All-Louisiana teams: Top honors for Didavi, Montrel, Green

May 27, 2013

     NEW ORLEANS — Led by Loic Didavi, a repeat selection as men's Player of the Year, Xavier University of Louisiana was well-represented on the 2012-13 All-Louisiana tennis teams announced late Saturday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
     Kyle Montrel joined Didavi on the men's team — Xavier was the only school with a pair of first-team men — and was chosen Freshman of the Year. Viktor Svoboda received honorable mention. Kourtney Howell was selected to the women's first team, and Alan Green is the women's Coach of the Year.
     Both XU teams had their best seasons ever. The women were the first XU team in any sport to reach No. 1 in an NAIA coaches poll or reach the semifinals of an NAIA National Championship. The men reached their highest-ever NAIA ranking, fifth, on three occasions, including the postseason poll. The Gold Rush became the first XU program to reach the national quarterfinals in consecutive years.
     Didavi, a senior from Cotonou, Benin, and a graduate of Lycée Jean Dautet, La Rochelle, shared the Player of the Year award with LSU sophomore Chris Simpson. The only two-time first-team NAIA All-American in Gold Rush history, Didavi was 16-6 in singles and 18-5 in doubles this season and was chosen ITA NAIA National Senior Player of the Year.
     "Loic has been a program-changer for our men since the moment he stepped on campus," Green said. "He has vaulted our team into a top-5 NAIA ranking for the first time in the program's history, and he has been our leader on and off the court. In addition to his accomplishments as a player, he has been our hardest worker in practice. He has been a coach's dream and will be almost impossible to replace. He also displays good sportsmanship and respect to the opposing players and coaches."
     Didavi was 41-12 in singles and 45-13 in doubles in his two Xavier seasons.
     Montrel, from Atlanta, Ga., and a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, was 16-4 in singles and 18-4 in doubles. He led the Gold Rush in singles and doubles winning percentage and, with Didavi as his partner, won his first eight doubles matches. In March he became the first XU freshman to reach the top 30 in the ITA NAIA singles rankings. He set a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference season record with four player-of-the-week awards, and he received All-America honorable mention.
     "Kyle was a pleasant surprise for us this season," Green said. "He is by far our most talented guy on the team. He wins matches by virtue of talent mostly, and he really enjoys the competition of playing college tennis. Kyle has a very bright tennis future ahead of him."
     Montrel is the Gold Rush's second Louisiana Freshman of the Year and the first since Cameron Knowles in 2007.
     Svoboda, a junior from Kamenice, Czech Republic, and a graduate of Vitezna Plan, was 18-10 in singles and 20-6 in doubles. He led the Gold Rush in singles victories and won 13 of his last 15 singles matches, including victories against nationally ranked NAIA teams Embry-Riddle, William Carey, Belhaven and Northwood (Fla.) and three victories against NCAA Division I, including a road victory at Southland Conference runner-up New Orleans. He and Nikita Soifer won 15 of their last 16 doubles matches.
     Howell, a junior from Cypress, Texas, and a graduate of Cypress Woods High School, was 20-11 in singles and 23-11 in doubles, all with Brion Flowers, and led the Gold Nuggets in singles and doubles victories. Howell was a first-team NAIA All-American, a three-time GCAC Player of the Week and led the Nuggets with eight dual-clinching victories. She and Flowers were No. 1 in the ITA NAIA doubles rankings of April 17.
     "Kourtney is the one person on the team I can always count on to go above the call of duty as a student-athlete," Green said. "We have received numerous compliments from referees this season, and most of it is because of the leadership Kourtney provides to her teammates."
     Howell and Flowers were the USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional doubles runner-up during the fall. It was the first time the Gold Nuggets reached the finals of that event.
     Green, in his 10th season at Xavier, won the women's coaching award for the second time and the first time since 2009. He was the men's Louisiana Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012. His women finished 19-8 and were 12-1 against ranked NAIA opponents, including victories on consecutive April days against Auburn Montgomery and William Carey, the finalists at the NAIA National Championship. The Gold Nuggets had a program-record 11-dual win streak from March 26-May 16. Green was chosen the women's ITA NAIA National Coach of the Year.
     An LSWA panel of sports information directors selected the teams.


2012-13 All-Louisiana Tennis
WOMEN
FIRST TEAM
Klaudia Gawlik, freshman, McNeese State
Kourtney Howell, junior, Xavier
Polina Konop, junior, Northwestern State
Emma Levy, senior, Tulane
Ella Taylor, freshman, LSU
Renee Villarreal, freshman, Southeastern Louisiana
Klara Vyskocilova, junior, Tulane

SECOND TEAM
Medy Blankvoort, junior, Louisiana-Monroe
Isabel Brito, senior, Southeastern Louisiana
Joanna Nalborska, freshman, Louisiana Tech
Alexandra Starkova, freshman, Louisiana Tech
Demetria Woods, senior, Southern

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  (tie) Klaudia Gawlik, McNeese State; Klara Vyskocilova, Tulane
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:  Klaudia Gawlik, McNeese State
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:  Valya Rusakova, Southeastern Louisiana
COACH OF THE YEAR:  Alan Green, Xavier

HONORABLE MENTION
Sandra Ahlqvist, Louisiana-Lafayette
Andrea Nedorostova, Northwestern State
     MEN
FIRST TEAM
Rick DeGroot, junior, Louisiana-Lafayette
Loic Didavi, senior, Xavier
Dmitry Kozionov, senior, Nicholls State
Dominik Koepfer, freshman, Tulane
Kyle Montrel, freshman, Xavier
Chris Simpson, sophomore, LSU

SECOND TEAM
Damian Farinola, sophomore, Louisiana-Lafayette
Hunter Johnson, freshman, Louisiana-Lafayette
Idan Mark, senior, Tulane
Hossam Meligy, senior, New Orleans
Nico Mertens, freshman, Nicholls State
Rui Silva, sophomore, New Orleans

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  (tie) Loic Didavi, Xavier; Chris Simpson, LSU
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:  Kyle Montrel, Xavier
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:  Rui Silva, New Orleans
COACH OF THE YEAR:  Jeff Brown, LSU

HONORABLE MENTION
Mark Bowtell, LSU
Viktor Svoboda, Xavier

 

 
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, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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