LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Junior Shaun Waters completed his perfect weekend in singles play with a three-set win over UNLV's Alex Bull at No. 2 singles on Sunday, but it wasn't enough for the Northern Arizona men's tennis team who suffered a 6-1 defeat to the Rebels. Waters also won at No. 1 doubles with freshman Trevor Unger for the Lumberjacks' lone doubles win on the day at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
"We didn't get blown away today," said assistant coach Joseph Heckley. "Against a tough team I expected a tough match and I asked the guys to go out and compete and they fought their hearts out. Every match was close and a lot of the matches could've gone either way."
The Rebels quickly claimed the first two doubles matches at No. 2 and 3 to clinch the doubles point on their home court. But Unger and Waters prevented the sweep by winning their second straight doubles match and third out of their last four, defeating Brian Kenyon and Bernard Schoeman, 8-6.
Like it was the case in doubles play, the Rebels ran away with singles competition, winning the first four matches to be completed to clinch the match in straight sets. Waters then stopped the UNLV run and claimed the team's lone point on Sunday with his victory at No. 2 over Alex Bull despite dropping the first set. Senior Robin Pezzutto attempted to give the Lumberjacks a second singles victory, but dropped an exhaustive third set super tiebreaker 14-12 to fall to Rene Ruegamer at No. 1.
Waters' 3-0 weekend in singles play improved his team-leading singles record to 7-4. He has won seven of his last 10 matches now after a season-opening loss. His win also gave him his second win in as many matches since moving up to the No. 2 spot in the NAU lineup this weekend.
The Lumberjacks finished their weekend in Las Vegas at 1-2, but made some strides following a disappointing weekend two weeks ago where they dropped three matches, including Big Sky losses to Weber State and Idaho State.
"It was definitely a good bounce back from the Weber State, Idaho State weekend," Heckley said. "We had to step up and even though we leave 1-2, we really stepped up our games and that's going to be good for us when we play the rest of our conference matches. What we're working on is paying off."
After playing their first 11 matches on the road, the Lumberjacks will finally host their first home match of the season on Saturday against Western Illinois. The home match will be the first of four consecutive dates for the Lumberjacks at Continental Country Club. First serve is currently set for 11 a.m., but check back throughout the week for any updates on the match time due to weather.
1. Trevor Unger/Shaun Waters (NAU) def. Brian Kenyon/Bernard Schoeman (UNLV), 8-6
3. Charlie Alvarado/Rene Ruegamer (UNLV) def. Robert Martin/Robin Pezzutto (NAU), 8-2
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (3, 2, 1)
1. Ruegamer (UNLV) def. Pezzutto (NAU), 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (14-12)
2. Waters (NAU) def. Alex Bull (UNLV), 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6)
3. Batyi (UNLV) def. Bermudez (NAU), 7-6, 6-1
4. Alvarado (UNLV) def. Schimmelbauer (NAU), 6-2, 7-5**
5. Markel (UNLV) def. Martin (NAU), 6-1, 6-3
6. Willie Sublette (UNLV) def. Unger (NAU), 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: (5, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1)