Gold Rush beat Swedes in matchup of ranked NAIA teams
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas -- Steffen Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson remained unbeaten in doubles in the spring semester, and Viktor Svoboda overcame a first-set singles shutout Saturday to clinch Xavier Univetsity of Louisiana's 7-2 men's tennis victory against Bethany (Kan.) in the Prairie View A&M Invitational.
The Gold Rush (3-1), ranked ninth in the NAIA, finished 2-0 in the event and extended its win streak to three straight. Bethany, ranked 16th, is 1-2.
Giles-Osborn and Richardson scored the first point of the dual and improved to 4-0 for the semester with an 8-6 victory against Michael Van Den Bogaert and Alex Sandri at No. 3 doubles. Loic Didavi and Zach Taylor put the Rush ahead to stay, 2-1, with an 8-4 victory against Marcelo Alecio and Kane Olsen at No. 1.
Taylor and Didavi won in straight sets at the top two singles flights to make it 4-1, then Svoboda clinched with his 0-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 victory against Olsen at No. 3. Amir Rahbar won in a super-tiebreaker at No. 5 after dropping the first set, and Richardson won in straight sets at No. 6.
Bethany's Shane Huggins, a first cousin of XU newcomer Corey Huggins, was responsible for both of the Swedes' points. He and Jack Schoeman beat Corey Huggins and Svoboda 9-7 at No. 2 doubles, and he defeated Giles-Osborn 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.
The victory was Xavier's first against a ranked opponent since beating Martin Methodist in the title match of an NAIA unaffiliated group qualifying tournament this past April, and it was the second straight year the Rush beat Bethany 7-2.
"This was a tough match," XU coach Alan Green said. "Bethany is much improved from last year and is definitely deserving of their ranking. Our guys are really coming together and playing like they are hungry for something. I hope it continues."
The Gold Rush are 25-2 in February duals dating to 2008.
Next Saturday the Gold Rush will play Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opponent Tougaloo at 9 a.m. and NAIA No. 22 Belhaven at 3 p.m. at the University of New Orleans Tennis Center. Meanwhile, this current trip will conclude after the XU women visit McNeese State at noon Sunday.