ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Facing a three-match weekend stay in Albuquerque, the Northern Arizona women's tennis clinched its first win of the season on Friday, defeating UTEP, 4-3. The victory by the slimmest of margins was the second consecutive for the Lumberjacks over the Miners in as many seasons as the Lumberjacks snapped its season-opening four-match losing streak and kick started their weekend on a positive note.
"Today was a great team effort and for us to win our first match of the season, we're excited for the rest of the weekend," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We're pumped, but we know we have two tougher matches in front of us. Knowing that we can grit out a close match, if we can compete like we did today we'll be in good shape this weekend."
Looking a strong start, the Lumberjacks came out firing and clinched the doubles point immediately. Sophomores Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang snapped their personal two-match losing streak and picked up their team-leading third doubles win of the season, 8-2, over UTEP's Rebeca Calvillo and Martina Trierweiler at No. 1. Seniors Alice Pacaut and Malia Wahinepio followed with a win at No. 3 by the same score and sealed up the 1-0 lead for NAU, despite UTEP winning at the No. 2 position.
Vang gave the Lumberjacks a 2-0 lead in the match by winning the first complete singles match at No. 3, 6-0, 6-3, over Marie LeBlond. Cavillo and Trierweiler answered back though with two successive wins at No. 1 and 2 and evened the match at two apiece. Needing to win two of the final three singles matches to claim victory, the Lumberjacks received the necessary victories by senior Nicole Perez and Pacaut at the No. 6 and 5 spots respectively.
Perez picked up her first win of the season, defeating Jaime-Leigh Michau easily, 6-2, 6-2, while Pacaut wrapped up NAU's victory on Friday with a 6-2, 6-4, win over Matilda Rose Tench. Pacaut's victory was her team-best third this spring. The Miners concluded Friday's tilt with a win at No. 4, but it was not enough as the Lumberjacks improved their record to 1-4 in 2013.
"Alice and Johanna have been solid for us, but Nicole coming through with her first win of the season was huge especially at a time like this when we needed a W under our belt," Bruno said.
With win number-one out of the way, the Lumberjacks will aim to make it two in a row on Saturday when they take on the host Lobos of New Mexico at 3 p.m. NAU defeated UNM last season at home for just the second time in program history, 6-1.
1. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Rebeca Calvillo/Martina Trierweiler (UTEP), 8-2
2. Marie LeBlond/Gabi Vazquez (UTEP) def. Ghizelene Doballah/Nicole Perez (NAU), 8-5
3. Alice Pacaut/Malia Wahinepio (NAU) def. Jaime-Leigh Michau/Matilda Rose Tench (UTEP), 8-2*
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (1, 3, 2)
1. Calvillo (UTEP) def. Doballah (NAU), 6-3, 6-1
2. Trierweiler (UTEP) def. Stone (NAU), 6-2, 6-3
3. Vang (NAU) def. LeBlond (UTEP), 6-0, 6-3
4. Vazquez (UTEP) def. Wahinepio (NAU), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Pacaut (NAU) def. Tench (UTEP), 6-2, 6-4**
6. Perez (NAU) def. Michau (UTEP), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: (3, 1, 2, 6, 5, 4)