Men’s Tennis Upended by No. 60 New Mexico and Abilene Christian
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Northern Arizona dropped both ends of a Saturday doubleheader in Albuquerque, dropping a 7-0 decision to No. 60 New Mexico and falling to Abilene Christian, 6-1. The Lumberjacks ended their season-opening 11-match road trip, dropping to 2-9 on the season.
To begin play on Saturday, the Lumberjacks drew their fourth ranked opponent of the season in No. 60 New Mexico. The Lobos opened with a sweep of doubles, featuring a pair of nationally ranked doubles teams. The Lumberjacks were closest at No. 2, where junior Robin Pezzutto and sophomore Hugo Ramadier pushed New Mexico's No. 64 Conor Berg and Ben Dunbar in an 8-5 defeat.
The Lobos would go on to win all-six singles matches in straight sets. Ramadier nearly forced a third set at No. 1, falling to Lobo sophomore Jadon Phillips 6-1, 7-5. NAU sophomore Patrick Schimmelbauer put up a good fight in a 6-3, 6-4 defeat at No. 2 while junior Josh Brown was outlasted by New Mexico's Mads Hegelund, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 6, as the Lobos finished a perfect morning.
Following the setback to New Mexico, the Lumberjacks faced Abilene Christian, ranked No. 13 nationally in Division-II. NAU jumped to the early lead by taking the doubles point, led by an 8-6 win for Schimmelbauer and junior Ben Lantz at No. 3. The Wildcats took the No. 1 doubles match, leaving the point up to the No. 2 match. Pezzutto and senior David Flodberg pushed Abilene Christian's Eldad Campbell and Nick Plum to a tiebreak, taking a 9-8 decision to give NAU a 1-0 lead.
Singles would not be as friendly to the Lumberjacks, as Abilene Christian would sweep the six singles matches. The closest battle was at No. 1, where Ramadier pushed ACU's Hans Hach, ranked No. 17 nationally in D-II, to a third set before a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win for the Wildcat freshman. Brown also forced a third set at No. 6 but was outlasted, 4-6, 6-3, 5-4 after the third set was ended after a 4-4 tiebreak. The Wildcats took straight-set wins at the other four singles positions to earn a 6-1 win.
The Lumberjacks will open both their home and Big Sky schedules next Saturday, March 5, in a 2:00 p.m. match against Portland State in Flagstaff Athletic Club East.