March 11, 2012

Women's Tennis Hosts No. 65 Akron on Monday

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Coming off just their second all-time victory over New Mexico on Saturday, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team hopes to carry that momentum into a showdown with No. 65 Akron on Monday at Continental Country Club. The match is set to begin at 12 p.m.

In Saturday's win over the Lobos, the Lumberjacks put on their most complete team performance since back-to-back 7-0 sweeps over Weber State and Idaho State on Feb. 18 and 19. The Lumberjacks claimed doubles wins at No. 2 and 3 to clinch the doubles point and then won five of the six singles matches, all in straight sets.

"A 6-1 win over New Mexico was really huge for us and we really need to carry it forward into Akron," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We have to play similar like we did today and there's nothing else we really need to do. If we play our games, we'll let the chips fall as they roll."

Freshmen Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang teamed together for their team-leading seventh doubles win of the season on Saturday, while juniors Nicole Perez and Alice Pacaut earned the win at No. 3 to clinch the doubles point for NAU against New Mexico.

In singles play, Stone, Vang, Perez and Pacaut all won at No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 respectively to seal up perfect days on an individual level. Junior Malia Wahinepio also won on Saturday at No. 3 in the first completed singles match to get the Lumberjacks off to a start.

Vang leads the team with seven singles wins this spring, while Stone and Pacaut are right behind her with six wins apiece.

A close 4-3 loss to No. 44 Brown snapped Akron's 12-match winning streak to open the season, but the nationally-ranked Zips are back on the right track following their own victory, 5-2, over New Mexico on Sunday. The Zips swept the three doubles matches against the Lobos and took wins at the three through six spots in singles to improve their record to 13-1.

Along the way this spring, the Zips have victories against opponents from the Big Ten (Michigan State), Big East (Cincinnati, Louisville, West Virginia) and SEC (Kentucky) as well as No. 56 Dartmouth, the school's first ever victory over a nationally-ranked opponent. Their No. 1 doubles pair of Zara Harutyunyan and Prang Pantusart is the No. 53 ranked duo in the country and is a perfect 12-0 this season.

"Akron is very good, they're 13-1 plus their one loss was 4-3," Bruno said. "We're lucky to have them on our home turf and I think if we play well, it'll be interesting to see. Everyone is going to have to play well, absolutely."

This will be the first all-time meeting between the two schools. Admission is free to Monday's match as well as all matches at Continental Country Club.