Men's Tennis Wraps Up Fall Season in Vegas, Sets Sight on Spring
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Northern Arizona men's tennis team wrapped up its fall season this past weekend at the Larry Easley Memorial Classic hosted by UNLV. Although the results were not as successful as the Lumberjacks would have liked, they faced some stiff competition in the likes of UNLV, Oklahoma State, Arizona and Arkansas in their final preparation for the spring 2013 season.
"We would've liked to have picked a couple more wins especially in singles, but we were in every single match," said men's tennis assistant coach Joseph Heckley. "There was tough competition with schools from the SEC, Big 12, Mountain West and Pac-12 and we competed really well. It was a great way to end the fall season."
Junior Dominic Bermudez picked up the lone NAU win in singles play this weekend, defeating Oklahoma State's Trevor Horstmann, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday. In his first round match on Friday, Bermudez took on Oklahoma State's Chris Haworth, who entered last spring as the No. 77 player in the nation. After pulling off a dominating first set victory, Bermudez was serving for the match in the second set ahead 5-4. However, Haworth would come back to win the second and take the match in the third, 1-6, 7-6, 6-2.
Although NAU did not come away with any singles victories, it did post a 2-2 combined record from its two doubles teams. Both doubles pairs fell in the first round of the doubles flight, but earned victories on the second day of the tournament. Bermudez teamed with junior Alan Barrios to defeat Cody Miller and Willie Sublette of UNLV, 8-2, before senior Josh Levinson and freshman Sarp Laleli knocked off the same Rebel duo, 8-5.
The Lumberjacks were led in the fall by senior Shaun Waters, who posted a team-best 4-3 singles record in fall play, including a run to the round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Mountain Regional Championships. Sophomore Kester Black was impressive in his initial action with the Lumberjacks after transferring from Wichita State, notching a 3-2 mark in singles, which ranked him second behind Waters. Bermudez and senior Patrick Schimmelbauer was the top doubles team at 5-2 and was the only pair to notch more than two victories in the fall.
"I thought the fall season was good," Heckley said. "We had some speed bumps, especially in Santa Barbara (at the UCSB Classic), but I thought we tightened up practice and it showed what we needed to work on for match play in the spring."
The Lumberjacks will now prepare for their spring competition season that begins on Jan. 18 in Tucson to take on Arizona.