POCATELLO, Idaho – Faced with a quick turnaround and its third match in three days in three different states, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team made it a winning weekend with its 7-0 victory over Idaho State on Sunday. The Lumberjacks won their third Big Sky match of the season and recorded their second straight 7-0 decision after doing so against Weber State yesterday. NAU is the only team in the conference with three Big Sky wins, currently at the top of the standings with their 3-0 in conference record.
"We've spent the last couple weeks on the road, so a road trip like this weekend was really good," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We took care of business; we went out there and got the job done. I'm really proud of the way the girls competed this weekend and we're sitting 3-0 in conference."
After failing to win the doubles point in four straight matches until yesterday, the Lumberjacks made it two in a row, sweeping the doubles matches for the second straight day. Freshmen Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang competed at the No. 1 spot for the first time this season and came away with an 8-4 victory over Katharina Marsela and Laura Porras to clinch the doubles point following a win by juniors Ghizelene Doballah and Malia Wahinepio at No. 2. Juniors Alice Pacaut and Alice Walker's win at No. 3, their first doubles win of the season as a duo, gave the Lumberjacks a clean sweep to open the match.
Wahinepio and Vang got the Lumberjacks going in singles play with wins at No. 3 and 4, pushing the NAU advantage in the match to 3-0. Stone then sealed the match with her fifth straight singles win of the season, knocking off Porras, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2.
Doballah, Walker and Pacaut wrapped up the match with wins at the remaining three spots to provide the final scoring in the match. With Walker's win at No. 6, all seven Lumberjacks that competed this weekend earned at least one singles win. Furthermore, with the 12 singles wins the last two days, the Lumberjacks have won 17 of 18 singles matches in conference play through their three Big Sky victories over Northern Colorado, Weber State and Idaho State.
At 4-5 overall this season, the Lumberjacks will take the next week off from competition before returning to the court against No. 37 UNLV and Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 2 and 3. Those two matches will precede the team's home opener on March 4 against 10-time Big Sky champion No. 44 Sacramento State.
"We've grown from some of those 4-3 losses to New Mexico State and Colorado State earlier this year," Bruno said. "Could our record be a little better than it is right now? Absolutely. But would our learning experiences be the same? Maybe not. I think the girls are improving match by match, so we're excited."
1. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Katharina Marsela/Laura Porras (ISU), 8-4*
2. Ghizelene Doballah/Malia Wahinepio (NAU) def. Rilee Moorhead/Marian Tangarife (ISU), 8-4
3. Alice Pacaut/Alice Walker (NAU) def. Madelaine Ryan/Zamira Vasquez (ISU), 8-5
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (2, 1, 3)
1. Doballah (NAU) def. Marsela (ISU), 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
2. Stone (NAU) def. Porras (ISU), 6-2, 6-2**
3. Wahinepio (NAU) def. Moorhead (ISU), 6-2, 6-3
4. Vang (NAU) def. Tangarife (ISU), 6-1, 6-2
5. Pacaut (NAU) def. Vasquez (ISU), 4-6, 6-3, 10-2
6. Walker (NAU) def. Ryan (ISU), 6-3, 7-5
Order of Finish: (3, 4, 2, 1, 6, 5)