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NAU Men's Tennis to Start Big Sky Conference Championships as No. 1 Seed

Northern Arizona Men's Tennis Team
Northern Arizona Men's Tennis Team

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — For the first time since 1982, the Northern Arizona University Men's Tennis team will go into the Big Sky Conference Tournament as the regular season champions. As the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye, the Lumberjacks will start competition in the semifinals on Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m. in Phoenix, Ariz. Director of Tennis Ki Kroll and the Lumberjacks will face the lowest remaining seed of either Sacramento State (No. 3), Montana (No. 4), Idaho State (No. 5) or Montana State (No. 6).

The Lumberjacks garnered a first place finish after an impressive 10-1 mark, one of the programs top records in history. They dropped their lone loss to Sacramento State 6-1 early in the month. The 'Jacks beat Montana 4-3, Montana State 6-1 and swept Idaho State 7-0. The full tournament schedule can be found below.

Highlight Reel

  • Sophomore Tim Handel was No. 13 in the ITA Mountain Region in the January 4 Rankings 
  • Northern Arizona has had three Big Sky Players of the Week in Handel, Lucas Taylor and Ruben Montano  
  • Handel led the Lumberjacks in singles wins with 16 overall and 11 in conference 
  • In doubles, Handel and Montano led the 'Jacks with 13 overall wins, the only duo in double digits 
  • Handel is the only Lumberjack to go undefeated in conference in both singles and doubles this season

Last Time Out

Montana State

The Bobcats will compete in the quarterfinals on Thursday, April 27 at 10 a.m. against No. 3 Sacramento State. If Montana State upsets Sacramento, the Bobcats will have a chance to face the Lumberjacks again after losing to them 6-1 earlier in the season. The win over Montana State allowed the Lumberjacks to start conference 2-0 after seven road matches. Montana State enters this weekend 7-14 overall and 6-5 in the Big Sky.

Idaho State

The Bengals will face No. 4 University of Montana on Thursday, April 27 at 11:30 a.m. If ISU picks up a win over the Grizzlies, then they will face the Lumberjacks in the semifinal. NAU swept the Bengals 7-0 earlier in the month. Idaho State will go into the weekend 12-8 overall and 7-4 in conference.

Montana

The Grizzlies are going into postseason competition 12-8 overall and 7-4 in the Big Sky. If Montana beats Idaho State, then the Grizzlies will face the No. 1 Northern Arizona squad. Montana fell to NAU 4-3 at the beginning of the season and will be looking to beat the Lumberjacks for the first time this season in the semifinals.

Sacramento State

If Sacramento State beats Montana State, NAU will face the winner of Montana and Idaho State. The Hornets enter postseason 12-11 overall and 8-3 in the Big Sky. The Hornets were the only team to successfully beat the Lumberjacks 6-1 earlier in April.

Follow the Action

Live Twitter results: @NAUMensTennis

Match recaps: www.nauathletics.com

Tournament Schedule

Thursday, April 27

Men's Quarterfinals

No. 3 Sacramento State vs. No. 6 Montana State - 10 a.m.

No. 4 Montana vs. No. 5 Idaho State - 11:30 a.m.

Friday, April 28

Men's Semifinals

Lowest Remaining Seed vs. No. 1 Northern Arizona - 10 a.m.

Highest Remaining Seed vs. No. 2 Idaho - 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, April 29

Men's Championship

Winners of Semifinals - 10 a.m.