NORCROSS, Ga. – Cumberland lost of pair of doubles matches 8-6 and then dropped the first two completed singles outings, losing 5-0 to eighth-ranked Xavier [LA] University in the finals of the NAIA Qualifying Tournament here Saturday afternoon at The Racquet Club of the South.
The Bulldogs (17-2) must now wait until the week of May 7 to find out if they will receive an at-large berth into the NAIA Championships set for May 15-19 in Mobile, Ala. CU is currently ranked 16th nationally.
The Gold Rush (17-7) started the match with victories in all three doubles matches.
Viktor Svoboda and Corey Huggins defeated Pedro Rodrigues and Andres Burgos before the match in which neither team could hold serve. At No. 2 CU’s Devin Crotzer and Na’im Azhar broke three times, but Steffan Giles-Osborn and Sean Richardson countered with four breaks of serve in another 8-6 triumph.
Loic Didavi and Zach Taylor, ranked fourth nationally, eventually wore down Evan Sanna and Jeremy Fleming in an 8-3 win at No. 1 for Xavier.
Taylor, ranked 19th in singles, made short work of Sanna at No. 2 singles, posting a 6-1, 6-2, victory. The final point took almost an hour longer, as the Bulldogs continued to fight despite the long odds.
Xavier won the first set in the other five matches, but Rodrigues and Cristhian Hernandez were both on serve in the second at Nos. 3 and 5, Fleming was in a tiebreaker at No. 6 and Burgos led 5-1 at No. 4. But eighth-ranked Didavi eventually outlasted Azhar at No. 1, 6-3, 6-3, for the final point.
#8 Xavier [LA] University 5, #16 Cumberland University 0
1. (8) Loic Didavi (XU) def. Na’im Azhar (CU), 6-3, 6-3
2. (19) Zach Taylor (XU) def. Evan Sanna (CU), 6-1, 6-2
3. (41) Viktor Svoboda (XU) vs. Pedro Rodrigues (CU), 6-2, 4-5, DNF
4. Amir Rahbar (XU) vs. Andres Burgos (CU), 7-6 (3), 1-5, DNF
5. Sean Richardson (XU) vs. Cristhian Hernandez (CU), 6-1, 4-3, DNF
6. Corey Huggins (XU) vs. Jeremy Fleming (CU), 6-4, 6-6, DNF
1. (4) Didavi-Taylor (XU) def. Sanna-Fleming (CU), 8-3
2. Steffan Giles-Osborn-Richarson (XU) def. Devin Crotzer-Azhar (CU), 8-6
3. Svoboda-Huggins (XU) def. Burgos-Rodrigues (CU), 8-6
Order of Finish – Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,1*)