LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The NAU women's tennis team opened up their 2011 fall tournament schedule with an impressive performance on Day 1 of the Aggie Invitational hosted by New Mexico State on Friday. With all seven Lumberjacks on the roster in action, six of them advanced to the quarterfinals of their singles draws before bowing out with losses to fall into the back draws.
"Overall we did pretty well, and our second round matches were close," said NAU director of tennis Kim Bruno. "I think New Mexico State edged us out a little bit with preparation on these courts, but I saw some really good things that we can work towards as we get ready for the spring."
Junior transfer Alice Pacaut and freshmen Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang all made their NAU debuts with convincing straight set victories in the first round of the White singles draw. Junior Nicole Perez also won her first round match in the White draw making it four-for-four Lumberjacks advancing to the quarterfinals. But all four would fall in the second round to New Mexico State opponents, with Pacaut and Stone losing in three sets and Vang and Perez in two sets.
In the Crimson singles draw, juniors Alice Walker and Ghizelene Doballah won their opening matches to advance to the next round. Walker dropped the first set to Ashley Newell of Western New Mexico, but came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. The only Lumberjack to see defeat in the first round of the singles draw was junior Malia Wahinepio, who lost in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 to Tarleton State's Alicia Perez.
"The new girls really showed a lot of fight and fire, which is really nice and fresh to have on the team," Bruno said. "As a group I was impressed with all three girls with close matches and they showed they could play at this level with more match play under their belts."
Like in the White draw, the Lumberjacks were undone by the host Aggies as Walker and Doballah fell in the second round. Wahinepio bounced back in the Crimson back draw and defeated Ynez Sanchez of Texas Permian-Basin.
The Lumberjacks also fared well in the doubles draw as the team of Pacaut and Stone swept their first round match 8-0 to advance to the next round and the Perez/Wahinepio duo also moving on with an 8-2 victory. Walker and Vang were NAU's third doubles team, but dropped a close 9-7 decision to Alicia Perez and Brittini Fausett team from Tarleton State.
Day 2 continues tomorrow with both singles and doubles play, highlighted by the Pacaut/Stone and Perez/Wahinepio doubles pairs beginning play in the doubles quarterfinals.
Northern Arizona Results:
Singles – Crimson Draw:
Alice Walker (NAU) def. Ashley Newell (WNM), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 (Round of 16)
Alicia Perez (TSU) def. Malia Wahinepio (NAU), 6-2, 6-4 (Round of 16)
Ghizelene Doballah (NAU) def. Nikolina Vukadin (WNM), 6-1, 7-5 (Round of 16)
Manon Sylvain (NMSU) def. Walker (NAU), 7-5, 6-0 (Quarterfinals)
Ginet Pinero (NMSU) def. Doballah (NAU), 6-1, 6-0 (Quarterfinals)
Wahinepio (NAU) def. Ynez Sanchez (UTPB), 6-2, 6-2 (Back Draw Quarterfinals)
Singles – White Draw:
Nicole Perez (NAU) def. Olivia Baltazar (UTPB), 6-0, 6-1 (Round of 16)
Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Sylvia Nieva (TSU), 6-1, 6-2 (Round of 16)
Alice Pacaut (NAU) def. Kayla Deatherage (TSU), 6-0, 6-0 (Round of 16)
Hannah Stone (NAU) def. Breigh Shotwell (UTPB), 6-0, 6-1 (Round of 16)
Annemieke Witte (NMSU) def. Perez (NAU), 6-1, 6-3 (Quarterfinals)
Jodie Williams (NMSU) def. Vang (NAU), 7-5, 6-2 (Quarterfinals)
Ros-Polly Nguyen (NMSU) def. Pacaut (NAU), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 (Quarterfinals)
Natalia Salum (NMSU) def. Stone (NAU), 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 (Quarterfinals)
Perez/Fausett (TSU) def. Walker/Vang (NAU), 9-7 (Round of 16)
Stone/Pacaut (NAU) def. Vukadin/Tiurina (WNM), 8-0 (Round of 16)
Perez/Wahinepio (NAU) def. Deatherage/Slater (UTPB), 8-2 (Round of 16)