Photo Courtesy of Jamie Hines
TEMPE, Ariz. – In the first of three straight matches this weekend, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team was swept by No. 20 Arizona State, 7-0, Friday at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Lumberjacks fell to 0-15 all-time against their in-state foe, and failed to take a set against the nationally ranked Sun Devils despite playing them close in games throughout the match.
"Playing one of the top programs in the country at their home facility, the scores don't do us justice," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We were in a ton of these games, back and forth, but the difference between a team like ASU and us is they don't lose those games. Unfortunately we just have to compete at that level and move forward this weekend."
The Sun Devils easily clinched the doubles point to begin the match, winning all three doubles matches against a reshuffled Lumberjack doubles lineup. Without freshman Hannah Stone in the fold, the Lumberjacks had to go with two first-time pairings at the No. 1 and 2 spots with freshman Johanna Vang and junior Malia Wahinepio and juniors Ghizelene Doballah and Nicole Perez played their first matches of the spring as a doubles duo.
The Lumberjacks would then struggle in singles play as they were shut out in singles play for the third time this season. However, despite not winning more than a game in the first set of all six matches, they were able to take three games in four of the second sets, which showed the team's potential.
"After getting blown out in a lot of the first sets, we were able to adjust in the second sets," Bruno said. "We just weren't ready for that level to start with, so by the time we adjusted it was too late. Those types of teams will eat you alive, but that showed that we can play with them at that level."
NAU will look for a more favorable result when they face Weber State in Ogden, Utah on Saturday at 1 p.m. While the Wildcats (0-8) will be aiming for their first win of the season after their loss to Idaho State on Wednesday, the Lumberjacks will aim to go 2-0 in the conference and snap their two-match losing streak.
1. Jacqueline Cako/Nicole Smith (ASU) def. Johanna Vang/Malia Wahinepio (NAU), 8-1*
2. Michelle Brycki/Joanna Smith (ASU) def. Ghizelene Doballah/Nicole Perez (NAU), 8-0
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (2, 1, 3)
1. Cako (ASU) def. Doballah (NAU), 6-0, 6-3
2. Brycki (ASU) def. Wahinepio (NAU), 6-1, 6-1**
3. Hannah James (ASU) def. Perez (NAU), 6-0, 6-3
4. Simmons (ASU) def. Vang (NAU), 6-1, 6-3
5. J. Smith (ASU) def. Pacaut (NAU), 6-0, 6-1
6. Sahagun (ASU) def. Walker (NAU), 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish: (3, 5, 2, 4, 1, 6)