March 27, 2012

Doballah Earns First Career Big Sky Player of the Week Honor

BIG SKY RELEASE (PDF)

OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Conference has named junior Ghizelene Doballah the conference's women's tennis Player of the Week after the Northern Arizona women's tennis team earned two critical home Big Sky wins against Montana and Montana State last weekend. The weekly honor is the first of Doballah's career and second this season for the Lumberjack tennis programs to go along with Shaun Waters' selection on the men's side two weeks ago.

"Ghizelene had an outstanding weekend," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "She has really stepped into the position at No. 1 (singles) and even moving into the No. 1 doubles spot, it's a very well deserved award. She's really embraced that No. 1 position and led the team in terms of work ethic. She's worked hard this entire season to get to this level and I hope it carries over into the rest of the season. "

Doballah began the Lumberjacks' three matches in four day stretch with a singles win at No. 1 against Montana's Heather Davidson, 6-1, 7-5, on Friday. She also teamed with junior Malia Wahinepio for a doubles win, 8-5, at No. 1 that clinched the doubles point for the Lumberjacks in their 4-3 victory over the Grizzlies.

She then followed that up with her second victory of the weekend in singles play as she battled back from a first-set loss to defeat Char Hjalmarsson on Saturday, 4-6, 6-4, 11-9, as part of five NAU singles wins in the team's 5-1 disposing of Montana State.

For the weekend, Doballah went 2-1 in singles and 1-1 in doubles with both of her losses coming at the hands of No. 72 Oregon on Monday in Tempe.

The Oran, Algeria native has been solid in her first season with the Lumberjacks, she redshirted a year ago after transferring from Barton Community College, posting a 7-9 singles record at the No. 1 spot in the NAU lineup. Her seven singles victories are tied for second the team, but Doballah has been exceptional in conference play. Her three victories, two singles and one doubles, last weekend improved her singles record to 5-1 and her doubles record to 4-1 against Big Sky opponents, while helping the Lumberjacks to a 5-1 Big Sky record.

Doballah and the rest of the Lumberjacks will take this week off from competition as they prepare for a three-match road trip to the state of Washington. They'll play non-conference matches against No. 38 Washington State and Gonzaga on April 6 and 7 before wrapping up with match against Big Sky foe Eastern Washington on April 8.