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Women’s Tennis Rallies for Season-Opening 4-3 Win Over UCSB

TEMPE, Ariz. – Junior Orsi Golovics battled for a three-set win at No. 1 singles to break a 3-3 tie and give Northern Arizona a season-opening victory over UC Santa Barbara, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon in Tempe. The Lumberjacks opened their season with the win while the Gauchos dropped to 0-3 for the year.

UC Santa Barbara would claim two of three doubles matches to open the match with a 1-0 lead. NAU’s lone doubles victory came at No. 1, where Golovics and freshman Malia Wahinepio, ranked No. 35 nationally, squeezed past UCSB’s Jordan Dockendorf and Natalia Lozano, 9-8. The Gauchos would claim 8-4 victories at the other two doubles spots to take the early lead.

In singles play, NAU claimed three of the first five completed matches to pull the score even. Junior Aimme Oki cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lozano at No. 2 to get NAU on the scoreboard, while fellow juniors Edit Suhajda at No. 3 and Yumi Hasegawa at No. 6 also claimed straight-set victories. Wins by the Gauchos at No. 4 and 5 left the match up to the No. 1 spot, where Golovics faced UC Santa Barbara sophomore ace Sofia Novack. Golovics claimed the first set, 6-2, before Novak responded with a 7-6 win in the second set. With their teammates watching, Golovics overcame Novak in the third set, 6-3, to clinch the match and a team victory for NAU.

“Things were looking a little grim after the doubles, but the girls showed a lot of heart and competitiveness to come back and pull out a victory,” fifth-year head coach Kim Bruno said. “Orsi really came through for us to clinch the match, and her fellow juniors playing behind her put us in a position to get the victory.”

The Lumberjacks will continue a season-opening four-match road swing at Arizona next Saturday, January 30, at noon.

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