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March 5, 2013

Stone Rewarded with Big Sky Honor After Perfect Weekend

BIG SKY RELEASE (PDF)

OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Conference office rewarded sophomore Hannah Stone with her first career women's tennis Player of the Week honor for her perfect play in helping the Northern Arizona women's tennis team to a pair of 5-2 victories over Colorado State and New Mexico State last weekend. It is the Lumberjacks' second weekly conference honoree of the season after senior Malia Wahinepio earned the season's initial award in January.

"Hannah has been in a lot of her matches and she's had to overcome some adversity in playing the big points better," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "A couple of the minor adjustments she's made the last couple of matches have gone her way. She's always had her tennis game, now she's brought her mind with it and that's what made the difference last weekend. I'm really proud that she kept working at it, I knew she had it in her and this is a great accomplishment for her going into this weekend."

Stone compiled a perfect 2-0 record in both singles and doubles play over the weekend as the Lumberjacks continued their strong play as of late, winning their fifth and sixth matches over their last eight overall.

The Temecula, Calif. native began the weekend with the doubles point clinching victory at No. 1 with sophomore Johanna Vang, defeating Colorado State's Natalie Heffron and Adriana Wojakowska, 8-3, on Saturday. Stone then carried her winning ways into singles play where she rallied from a first set loss to Abby Stevens and notched a 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8), three-set win. Her two victories helped the Lumberjacks record their first victory over the Rams since 1999.

The following day, Stone and Vang once again teamed up for their second doubles victory of the weekend against New Mexico State. The sophomore duo's 8-6 victory over Ros-Polly Nguyen and Ginet Pinero sealed up the doubles point for NAU for the second straight day after both teams had split the first two doubles matches. Stone wrapped up her weekend with a dominant 6-2, 6-0, defeat of Pinero in singles play.

Her two singles wins at the No. 2 position pushed her win streak to four over the last two weekends. After falling in her first seven matches of the spring, Stone now sits at 4-7 on the season and has dropped just one set during her four-match win streak, which is currently the second-longest of her young career at NAU. In doubles play, Stone and Vang are 7-4 on the season while competing at the top doubles spot throughout the entire spring.

"I think it's a great accomplishment anytime we get a player of the week, especially for Hannah after going through that adversity at the beginning of the season," Bruno said. "Any accolades that we can get as a team just adds to our confidence and this is a great achievement not only for her personally, but for the team as a whole."

Stone and the Lumberjacks (6-6 overall, 1-0 in the Big Sky) head out to northern California for two matches this weekend where they will play San Francisco on Saturday and 11-time defending Big Sky champions Sacramento State on Sunday.