FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's tennis team equaled the second longest win streak in program history with its 7-0 sweep of UT-Pan American on Monday to wrap up its three-match homestand. The Lumberjacks improved to 13-8 overall and clinched their seventh consecutive victory, defeating the Broncs, coached by former Lumberjack player and assistant coach Stephanie Vallejos, before heading out for their final road trip of the season next weekend at Montana State and Montana.
"It's bittersweet stepping out in front of Steph's team, but it meant a lot to the players and to us as a program to have them out here," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "For us to go out there and take care of things speaks to what this team does for NAU. They step up and care about winning."
The Lumberjacks made it seven straight matches of sweeping doubles play and was off and running with a dominant win at No. 1. Sophomores Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang blanked Reegan Greenwood and Dana Nazarova, 8-0, for their fifth consecutive victory. Seniors Ghizelene Doballah and Nicole Perez clinched the doubles point at No. 2, with an 8-3 victory, before NAU won at No. 3 to close out doubles play. Doballah and Perez's win pushed their record to 10-9 on the heels of seven straight wins and now gives the Lumberjacks all three of their primary doubles pairs in double-digits in the win column.
With the doubles point in hand, the Lumberjacks forged forward in singles play and proceeded to sweep all singles matches. Doballah began with a 6-4, 6-1, win at No. 2 and Perez followed with a 6-1, 6-2, win at No. 5. Senior Malia Wahinepio sealed up the team's victory courtesy of a 6-0, 6-2, victory at No. 4 before Vang bounced back from her loss on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-4, triumph at No. 3. The Broncs nearly stole a win from the Lumberjacks at the top position with Didi Fatchikova taking the first set against sophomore Hannah Stone, but Stone rallied to win the final two sets to put the Lumberjacks ahead 6-0. Junior Tatum Rochin would close the match and secure the 7-0 sweep with a 6-4, 6-4, win at No. 6.
The Lumberjacks' seven-match win streak matches the streak achieved by the program in 1985, 1995, 1998 and 2008. The longest win streak in program history is the 11-0 run the 1999 squad recorded to begin its season. The Lumberjacks also improved to 5-0 at home this spring.
"We're a great high altitude team and we needed these wins going into Montana and Montana State," Bruno said. "Montana is at high altitude so we just have to go out there and lay it down like we've been doing and keep this momentum going. We're playing good tennis right now, one through nine honestly. We can count on any of our girls right now."
NAU visits Montana State on Saturday and Montana on Sunday for its last road trip before wrapping up the regular season with a pair of home matches.
1. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Reegan Greenwood/Dana Nazarova (UTPA), 8-0
2. Ghizelene Doballah/Nicole Perez (NAU) def. Wanda Beguelin/Didi Fatchikova (UTPA), 8-3*
3. Tatum Rochin/Malia Wahinepio (NAU) def. Anastasia Burobina/Manon Lavrijssen (UTPA), 8-6
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (1, 2, 3)
1. Stone (NAU) def. Fatchikova (UTPA), 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
2. Doballah (NAU) def. Nazarova (UTPA), 6-4, 6-1
3. Vang (NAU) def. Beguelin (UTPA), 6-2, 6-4
4. Wahinepio (NAU) def. Lavrijssen (UTPA), 6-0, 6-2**
5. Perez (NAU) def. Greenwood (UTPA), 6-1, 6-2
6. Rochin (NAU) def. Burobina (UTPA), 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: (2, 5, 4, 3, 1, 6)