CHENEY, Wash. – Down 3-2, Northern Arizona picked up wins from junior David Flodberg and freshman Kevin Taylor at No. 5 and 6 singles to rally to a 4-3 Big Sky victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday in Cheney. The Lumberjacks pulled even with Weber State for second place in the Big Sky at 5-2 and improved their overall record to 11-8 while Eastern Washington dropped to 6-12 overall and 3-3 in conference.
Northern Arizona got an 8-5 doubles win from sophomores Andrew Reiff and Robin Pezzutto at No. 2, but Eastern Washington claimed victories at No. 1 and 3 to earn the first point of the match.
In singles play, Reiff was cruising to a victory at No. 1 before Eastern Washington's Stefan Simikic retired in the second set due to injury. Pezzutto rallied for a three-set win at No. 4, but Eagle wins at No. 2 and 3 gave the home team a 3-2 lead. Flodberg would outlast sophomore Julian Sanchez for a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 5, leaving the match up to the No. 6 position. Taylor faced Eastern Washington freshman Flavio Malagutti in the final match of the day and claimed a 6-4, 6-2 win to give NAU the victory.
"The match wasn't easy and it did not look good for us most of the day," assistant coach Rich Paulosky said. "The guys were up to the test and were able to edge out the victory. That is what this team is all about; someone has to step up and today that happened in the end."
Northern Arizona plays its final regular season Big Sky match on Monday, facing Portland State at 10:30 a.m.