FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona improved to 4-0 at home this season and won its 12th-consecutive home match dating back to 2008 by sweeping singles and doubles in a 7-0 whitewash of Rhode Island on Wednesday afternoon in Flagstaff Athletic Club East. Playing their first match in 19 days, the Lumberjacks won their third-straight match and improved to a Big Sky-best 8-3 overall while the visiting Rams dropped to 1-4.
"You never know what to expect when you play a team from out East and it was nice to for us to come out and play well after a long layoff," director of tennis Kim Bruno said. "We finished out some close matches and I really felt that we played up to our potential today. We have a lot of matches coming up on the road so this is definitely a confidence boost before we enter a really tough stretch in our schedule."
Northern Arizona jumped on Rhode Island early, cruising to easy wins at all-three doubles positions. Junior Orsi Golovics and freshman Malia Wahinepio faced little resistance in an 8-2 win at No. 1, while Lumberjack wins of 8-3 and 8-4 at No. 2 and 3, respectively, gave the home team the first point of the match.
Singles play was also controlled by Northern Arizona as the Lumberjacks won each match in straight-sets. Junior Edit Suhajda played at No. 1 for the first time this season and claimed a 6-3, 6-2 win over Rhode Island's Kristen Leikem, while Golovics posted an easy 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 2. Wahinepio moved up to No. 3 for the first time in her career and improved her team-best record to 9-2 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over URI's Tristany Leikem. Junior Aimee Oki picked up the win at No. 4 while Freshman Nicole Perez and junior Yumi Hasegawa each won their seventh-consecutive match with wins at No. 5 and 6, respectively.
The Lumberjacks, who have now won seven of their last eight matches, will play their next seven matches on the road. NAU plays matches on three consecutive days next weekend in Utah and Idaho, beginning with a Big Sky match at Weber State next Saturday, April 3, at 10 a.m.