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Didavi, Montrel, Howell, Flowers are ITA All-Americans

June 6, 2013

     NEW ORLEANS — Four from Xavier University of Louisiana — Loic Didavi, Kyle Montrel, Kourtney Howell and Brion Flowers — have been named Intercollegiate Tennis Association NAIA All-Americans for the 2012-13 season.
     The four earned the honor by being top 20 in singles or top 10
     Loic Didavi

Loic Didavi
     Kyle Montrel

Kyle Montrel
     Kourtney Howell

Kourtney Howell
     Brion Flowers

Brion Flowers
in doubles in the ITA's postseason individual rankings. Didavi, a senior from Cotonou, Benin, and a graduate of Lycée Jean Dautet, La Rochelle, was ranked fourth in singles and fifth in doubles with Montrel, a freshman from Atlanta, Ga., and a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Those are the highest-ever final NAIA individual rankings of the Gold Rush.
     The Gold Nuggets also achieved their highest-ever end-of-season singles and doubles rankings. Howell, a junior from Cypress, Texas, and a graduate of Cypress Woods High School, ranked sixth in singles and was third in doubles with Flowers, a freshman from Lafayette, La., and a graduate of St. Thomas More High School.
     Didavi and Howell are repeat All-America selections. Didavi made the team for the third consecutive year; he also attained that honor as a sophomore at Auburn Montgomery before transferring to Xavier. Howell is the Gold Nuggets' first two-time ITA NAIA All-American. Montrel and Flowers are Xavier's first freshmen to be named All-America in this sport.
     Also ranked nationally in the postseason were XU's Nikita Soifer at 21st and Montrel at 36th in men's singles, and the men's doubles team of Soifer and Viktor Svoboda at No. 19. In women's singles, Flowers finished 28th, and Amanda Materre was 42nd. Howell was 15th and Materre 36th in the final singles rankings a year ago.
     In the NAIA South Region men's rankings, Didavi was fifth, Soifer 12th and Montrel 16th in singles. Didavi and Montrel were fourth, and Soifer and Svoboda were eighth in doubles. In the women's South Region, Howell was sixth and Flowers 15th in singles, and Howell and Flowers were third in doubles.
     Soifer is a sophomore from Beer Sheva, Israel, and a graduate of Hof Hasharon School. Svoboda is a junior from Kamenice, Czech Republic, and a graduate of Vitezna Plan. Materre is a sophomore from Richmond, Texas, and a graduate of Westside High School.
     This is the second consecutive year that the XU men have three in the final singles top 50 and two teams in final doubles top 20. Xavier is one of three NAIA men's programs — the others are Vanguard and Westmont — with at least three singles players and two doubles teams in the final rankings both of the last two seasons.
     Both XU teams had their best seasons ever. The Gold Nuggets finished 19-8 and 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. They ranked third in the postseason. The XU men (15-8) 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.


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.

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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