FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - NAU looks to open its Spring season on a high
note on Sunday, when the Lumberjacks will face UC Santa Barbara in
Tempe at 11 a.m. The match will be the first of four away from
Flagstaff to open the season for Northern Arizona, before the
Lumberjacks return for their home opener on February 19 against Big
Sky-foe Montana State.
For the last four seasons, Northern Arizona's women's tennis team has had its season end in the same place to the same team, falling to Sacramento State in the Big Sky championship final every year since 2006. Fifth-year head coach Kim Bruno will lean on a pair of seasoned juniors to lead the team back to the final, hoping to overcome the Hornets and claim a Big Sky title for the first time since 1999.
Four juniors and four freshmen will comprise the roster, led by a duo of two-time All Big-Sky first team selections from Hungary. Orsi Golovics brings a No. 19 singles ranking in the Mountain region into the 2010 season after posting a 7-7 singles record against premier opposition in the Fall and a 13-6 singles record a year ago. Fellow junior Edit Suhajda was limited in the fall after undergoing offseason surgery, but appears ready to build off a 5-2 Fall record in limited action.
Other returning juniors include Yumi Hasegawa, who posted a dominate 15-6 singles record in 2009 at No. 5 and 6 singles, and Aimee Oki, who will likely enter the starting lineup this season after a 2-1 singles mark in conference play a year ago. With no seniors on the roster, the four returning NAU juniors will be asked to lead the way in 2010.
Amongst the newcomers to the NAU squad, freshman Malia Wahinepio has made the biggest splash thus far on the mountain campus. The native of Anthem, Arizona teamed with Golovics for a 10-2 doubles record in the fall, earning a No. 35 national doubles ranking entering the Spring season. She also went 7-7 in singles play and will be slotted into the starting lineup. Joining Wahinepio as a likely freshman starter will be Fountain Hills native Nicole Perez after the newcomer posted an impressive 9-4 singles record in Fall play. Adding depth to the NAU roster will be freshman Ana Mendes from Brazil.
Like the NAU men, the ladies will also play five of eight Big Sky matches on the road. Home play for the Lumberjacks opens on February 19 against Montana State followed by a February 21 match with Grand Canyon. The Lumberjacks also host Big Sky matches against Montana and preseason No. 58 Sacramento State and a non-conference tilt with Rhode Island. The Ladies went 6-0 at home in 2009, looking to keep the home-court advantage alive in the new decade.
A difficult road schedule includes matches against a pair of Pac-10 foes in Arizona and Washington State. The Lumberjacks open the season with a match against a talented UC Santa Barbara squad in Tempe on January 24, and the ladies will also play tough non-conference road matches at New Mexico State and Utah State out of the WAC, Colorado State of the Mountain West and Gonzaga of the WCC.
NAU was picked to finish second in the Big Sky preseason poll, trailing only Sacramento State in the balloting. The position is a familiar one for a talented Lumberjack squad looking to get by the pesky Hornets to nab a Big Sky crown.
April 29, 2010 Five Lumberjacks Named to All-Big Sky Womens Tennis Team
April 24, 2010 Womens Tennis Tops Montana 4-2, Returns to Big Sky Final
April 23, 2010 Women's Tennis Aiming for Return to Big Sky Final
April 13, 2010 Suhajda Named Big Sky Womens Tennis Player of the Week
April 11, 2010 Womens Tennis Match at Gonzaga Cancelled
April 5, 2010 Win Streak Ends for Womens Tennis at Utah State, 4-3
April 2, 2010 Womens Tennis Back in Action in Utah and Idaho
March 23, 2010 Women's Tennis Back in Action, Hosts Rhode Island Wednesday
February 27, 2010 Womens Tennis Handles Shorthanded Texas-Pan American, 6-1
February 26, 2010 Womens Tennis Winning Streak Ended by UTEP, 5-2
February 26, 2010 Womens Tennis Opens Week With 7-0 Win Over Western New Mexico
February 21, 2010 Women's Tennis Earns Quick 7-0 Win Over Grand Canyon
February 19, 2010 Womens Tennis Bounces Montana State in Home Opener, 6-1
February 18, 2010 Womens Tennis to Host Montana State in Home Opener Friday
February 17, 2010 Wahinepio Named Big Sky Womens Tennis Player of the Week
February 14, 2010 Womens Tennis Claims Big Sky Win at Northern Colorado, 5-2
February 13, 2010 Womens Tennis Falls Short at Colorado State, 5-2
February 12, 2010 Womens Tennis to Play at Rams and Bears; Media Guide Available
January 30, 2010 Wahinepio Wins as Womens Tennis Falls to Arizona, 6-1
January 24, 2010 Womens Tennis Rallies for Season-Opening 4-3 Win Over UCSB
January 23, 2010 Womens Tennis to Begin Season on Sunday vs. UC Santa Barbara
January 7, 2010 Womens Tennis Appears in Latest ITA Rankings
November 15, 2009 Womens Tennis Concludes Fall Season at UC Irvine Invite Day 3
November 14, 2009 Womens Tennis Advances Three Players to Finals at UC Irvine Invite
November 13, 2009 Womens Tennis Perfect on First Day of UC Irvine Invitational
November 8, 2009 Womens Tennis Nets Seven More Victories at Southwest Invitational
November 7, 2009 Womens Tennis Continues Strong Play at Southwest Invitational
November 6, 2009 Womens Tennis Powers Through Opening Day at Southwest Invite
October 17, 2009 Womens Tennis Ends Play at ITA Regional with Doubles Win
October 16, 2009 Golovics Advances in Singles and Doubles at ITA Regionals
October 15, 2009 Womens Tennis Plays Through Busy Second Day at ITA Regionals
October 14, 2009 Doubles Sweep Highlights Womens Tennis in ITA Regional Opening
September 27, 2009 Womens Tennis Improves Dramatically as UNLV Invitational Concludes
September 26, 2009 Perez Victorious for Womens Tennis on Second Day of UNLV Invitational
September 25, 2009 Womens Tennis Battles Through Challenging Opening Day in Las Vegas
September 24, 2009 Womens Tennis Heads to Las Vegas to Begin Fall Season