Xavier University of Louisiana Team Page
MOBILE, Ala. -- Xavier University of Louisiana's second-seeded Loic Didavi and Zach Taylor defeated Oklahoma Christian's fourth-seeded Bruno Tiberti and Martin Poboril 6-7 (4), 7-5, 1-0 (10-7) Friday in the NAIA men's doubles third-place match of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.
Didavi, unseeded in singles, upset fourth-seeded Vladislav Khudziy of Huntington (Ind.) 6-4, 6-3 in the consolation semifinals.
Didavi and Taylor lost 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals to Fresno Pacific's third-seeded Cledson Carvalho and Nathan Martinet.
XU's doubles tandem finished the fall semester 7-2. Taylor is 22-10 at Xavier in two seasons of doubles.
"That third-place match started right after both teams lost in the semifinals," Xavier coach Alan Green said. "Both teams were given a 40-minute break, but they decided to stay on court and play. Oklahoma Christian was coming off a tough loss in a super-tiebreaker.
"At first it looked like all four guys did not want to be on the court, but they eventually warmed up to it. It was a back-and-forth match. Loic and Zach did a great job taking control in the second set, then they got a good lead early in the super-tiebreaker and held on."
Didavi, 9-1 in singles this season, broke Khudziy's serve to take a 4-2 lead in the second set.
"Loic's first set of singles was ugly," Green said. "He almost lost serve a couple of times but pulled it out.
"Loic's opponent was really good but deceptive. It was a mental challenge for Loic because his opponent looked like he was coasting at times, and at other times he'd produce great shots. It was hard for Loic to get into a rhythm, but he did what he had to do to win."
Didavi will play Graceland's Laurentsi Arakhamiya at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for fifth place. Graceland's first-year coach is Xavier graduate Monroe Walker, who played for the Gold Rush from 2001-05.