Stone and Vang Upset Fifth-Seeded Duo to Move Into Quarterfinals
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – For the second consecutive day rain wreaked havoc at the ITA Mountain Regional Championships, but so did the Northern Arizona women's tennis team on Thursday via an upset win by the sophomore duo of Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang. The Lumberjack pair knocked off the fifth-seeded Boise State twin sister pairing of Manuela and Marlena Pietzuch, 8-6, in the second round of the doubles draw.
"They came in here thinking they could beat anyone in this tournament and they proved it today," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "They were great all spring and they played well in the big moments today and pulled it out. It was great to see and they deserved that win today. Hopefully in years to come, they'll be the seeded team."
Stone and Vang finished their first season at NAU in the spring with a team-best 13-6 doubles record as the Lumberjacks' primary No. 2 doubles team. In their first action as a doubles pair at the regional championships, they moved on to the second round after defeating Kristi Elmer and Thais Kurer of Weber State, 8-3, on Wednesday.
Advancing to the quarterfinals would be a tall order facing the Broncos' Pietzuch sisters, but Stone and Vang were up to the task pulling off the upset. One of the most accomplished doubles pairs in the mountain region, the Pietzuch sisters earned All-Mountain West second team honors last season, compiling a 14-10 doubles record as Boise State's No. 1 doubles pair and they also finished the spring ranked No. 6 in the region.
With the win, Stone and Vang advances to the quarterfinal round of 16 and will face another tough opponent in the host school UNLV's Aleksandra Josifoska and Iren Kotseva. The Rebel duo shut out Montana State's Ellie Crum and Paulina Lopez on Thursday, 8-0, to advance.
The second round of the singles draw was slated for Thursday, but heavy morning rains wiped out the morning session, forcing the tournament to proceed with a full round of doubles. Weather permitting, play is to resume Friday morning with the second and third rounds of the singles draw planned. The singles back draw may also commence depending on the weather.
Vang and senior Alice Pacaut will compete in the second round singles action, while Stone and senior Malia Wahinepio will play in the back draw if the rain allows it. Vang faces New Mexico State's Lisa Roslanova and Pacaut takes on Colorado's Julyette Steur.