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Men’s Tennis Falls in Big Sky Final to Sacramento State, 4-0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A pair of doubles wins and three singles victories in straight-sets propelled Sacramento State to its second-consecutive Big Sky title with a 4-0 win over Northern Arizona in the conference final Sunday afternoon. The Lumberjacks, who were playing in their first Big Sky Championship final since 2001, end the season with a 13-9 record, their first winning overall record since 2002.

The 13 wins this season for NAU were the most victories for the program since 2000 and was a vast improvement over a 7-18 record in 2009. Sacramento State avenged a 6-1 loss to NAU in Flagstaff on January 21 to win its eighth Big Sky title in the last 13 seasons. The Hornets went 7-1 in the Big Sky regular season and will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament.

Sacramento State made quick work of the Lumberjacks in doubles to start the day, starting with an 8-1 Hornet win at No. 1. Freshmen Hugo Ramadier and Kevin Taylor were topped 8-3 at No. 3 to give Sacramento State an early lead.

The Lumberjacks started strong in the first sets of their singles matches but Sacramento State was still able to record three straight-set wins to clinch the match. At No. 2, NAU freshman Patrick Schimmelbauer was defeated by Sacramento State's Anton Stryhas, 6-4, 6-0, in the first completed singles match. Ramadier would drop a 6-3, 6-4 decision at No. 3 to give the Hornets a 3-0 lead. The match would end at No. 5, where NAU junior David Flodberg would fall to Hornet junior Marko Starcevic, 6-2, 7-5. Sophomore Robin Pezzutto and Taylor were closing in on victories at No. 4 and 6, respectively, when the match was clinched.

With a starting lineup consisting of one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen, the entire starting-six should return next season in hopes of building off a turnaround 2010 season.

DID YOU KNOW…Northern Arizona combined the best of both worlds during the 2008-09 academic year with a Top 100 United States Sports Academy Directors Cup standing. NAU ranked among the top 100 for the sixth time in the last seven seasons and 11th overall in the last 13 years.

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