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March 10, 2013

Women's Tennis Falls to Sac State in Big Sky Showdown

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Northern Arizona women's tennis team came up short in its bid to put an end to Sacramento State's 93-conference match winning streak on Sunday as the Hornets defeated the Lumberjacks, 5-2. The Lumberjacks got wins from sophomore Hannah Stone and senior Nicole Perez in the loss as they fell to 6-8 for the season and 1-1 in the Big Sky.

"I think we have another level in us that we didn't bring today," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "A couple of our players played well in singles, but the rest of us struggled and unfortunately that's not good enough against a team like that. Sac State is a tough team and a tough team to beat at home. We're not going to hang our heads though because we're going to see them again in the conference final, so we'll just have to play better team tennis when that time comes."

The Hornets swept doubles play and took the 1-0 lead in the match. While Sacramento State won fairly easily by identical 8-3 scores at both the No. 1 and 2 positions, seniors Alice Pacaut and Malia Wahinepio battled at No. 3. Their effort was not rewarded though as they saw their eight-match doubles win streak come to an end by virtue of an 8-6 loss to Olivia Boija and Andrea Gomez Carus.

Behind in the match after dropping the doubles point, the Lumberjacks needed a strong start to singles play but the Hornets would not allow it. Jennifer Nguyen, Rebeca Delgado and Katharina Knoebl all recorded straight set wins without dropping more than two games in a set and the Hornets wrapped up the win. Stone and Perez proceeded to win two of the final three singles matches in the Lumberjacks' favor though to prevent a shutout to their Big Sky rival.

Stone defeated Sophie Lohscheidt, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 2 for her fifth win in her last six matches. Perez on the other hand played her second three-set match of the weekend, but unlike Saturday when she came out on the short end against San Francisco, she gutted Sunday's affair out defeating Saskia Angerer, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7). Perez now stands alone atop the Lumberjacks statistically with an 8-6 singles mark.

After a tough two-match weekend in northern California, the Lumberjacks will finally open their home portion of their 2013 schedule next Sunday. They host Portland State at 9 a.m. and Valparaiso at 2 p.m. as part of a home-opening doubleheader. Both matches will be played at Continental Country Club on the east side of Flagstaff, weather permitting, and attendance is free for all fans.

Results:

Doubles:

1. Rebeca Delgado/Sophie Lohscheidt (SAC) def. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU), 8-3

2. Katharina Knoebl/Jennifer Nguyen (SAC) def. Ghizelene Doballah/Nicole Perez (NAU), 8-3*

3. Oliva Boija/Andrea Gomez Carus (SAC) def. Alice Pacaut/Malia Wahinepio (NAU), 8-6

*Clinched Doubles Point

Order of Finish: (1, 2, 3)

Singles:

1. Delgado (SAC) def. Doballah (NAU), 6-1, 6-0

2. Stone (NAU), def. Lohscheidt (SAC), 6-4, 6-4

3. Nguyen (SAC) def. Vang (NAU), 6-2, 6-1

4. Knoebl (SAC) def. Wahinepio (NAU), 6-0, 6-2**

5. Boija (SAC) def. Pacaut (NAU), 6-4, 6-4

6. Perez (NAU) def. Saskia Angerer (SAC), 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7)

**Clinched Match

Order of Finish: (3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 6)