SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Junior Patrick Schimmelbauer won at No. 4 in the final match of the day, but the Northern Arizona men's tennis team dropped a 6-1 decision to Utah Friday afternoon at the Eccles Tennis Center. Schimmelbauer defeated the Utes' Ace Matias in three grueling sets as the Lumberjacks fell to 2-4 on the season.
"Utah is a tough Pac-12 team and we need to have some more courage at certain moments," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We need to take that from today's match. It was close today, so we need to play like we did today, but with a little more courage at the big moments tomorrow."
The home team got off to a roaring start taking the first five singles matches after winning all three doubles matches to take a 6-0 lead in the match. Along the way, the Utes scored straight set victories at No. 2, 3, 5 and 6 singles and also claimed a three-setter at No. 1 by Benito Suriano over senior Robin Pezzutto, 7-5, 3-6, 10-4.
Freshman Trevor Unger made his career-debut for the Lumberjacks, teaming up with junior Shaun Waters at No. 1 doubles where they would fall to the Utes' duo of Dmytro Mamedov and Suriano, 8-5. Unger also competed at No. 6 singles, falling 6-1, 6-4 to Rafael Davidian. Waters also saw his four-match singles-winning streak come to an end, dropping his first singles match since Jan. 21 in NAU's season-opener at No. 3 to Slim Hamza.
The Lumberjacks' highlight of the day came courtesy of Schimmelbauer, who won his second match of the season. After dropping a close first set to Matias, 6-7, Schimmelbauer evened the match by taking the second set by the same score, before preventing a Utah sweep by winning the third set decisively, 10-2.
"Patrick's been close in all of matches this year," Bruno said. "The difference today was he kept striking the ball and putting pressure on his opponent. I think he really deserved that win today."
The Lumberjacks will make the short trip north to Ogden, Utah to continue conference play against Weber State on Saturday. Play at the Edman Courts will commence at 11 a.m. as NAU will look to extend their Big Sky record to 2-0 this season.
1. Dmytro Mamedov/Benito Suriano (UU) def. Trevor Unger/Shaun Waters (NAU), 8-5
2. Ace Matias/Alejandro Medinilla (UU) def. Dominic Bermudez/Robin Pezzutto (NAU), 8-3*
3. Slim Hamza/Devin Lane (UU) def. Ben Lantz/Patrick Schimmelbauer (NAU), 8-2
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (3, 2, 1)
1. Suriano (UU) def. Pezzutto (NAU), 7-5, 3-6, 10-4
2. Mamedov (UU) def. Bermudez (NAU), 6-4, 6-2**
3. Hamza (UU) def. Waters (NAU), 6-1, 6-2
4. Schimmelbauer (NAU) def. Matias (UU), 6-7, 7-6, 10-2
5. Lane (UU) def. Robert Martin (NAU), 6-2, 7-6
6. Rafael Davidian (UU) def. Unger (NAU), 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: (3, 6, 2, 1, 5, 4)