FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's tennis team saw its eight-match win streak end disappointingly at Montana last weekend, but it returns home to finish the season strong this Friday when it hosts Southern Utah. The match will be played at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona and will begin at 9 a.m.
"We obviously want to win out this season and we have the potential to do that," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We can't hang our heads because of one loss because we're having a fantastic season and we're going to continue that the next two weekends. We just have to play really clean no matter who we're playing against and that's what we're looking to do this weekend."
The Lumberjacks slipped to third in the Big Sky with their 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Grizzlies last Sunday, but still carries a 14-9 overall record and a 6-2 conference mark into Friday's tilt. The 14 wins with two regular season matches remaining are the most for the women's tennis program since the 15 wins the 2008 team recorded.
Even in defeat, the Lumberjacks were perfect in doubles yet again as they swept the doubles point for the ninth consecutive match versus the Grizzlies. As a team, NAU has won its last 26 doubles matches dating back over the last month since March 10. The Lumberjacks continue to lead the conference in team doubles victories with 45 and has been nearly unbeatable in doubles versus Big Sky opponents with a 21-3 conference record. Seniors Alice Pacaut and Malia Wahinepio have won 15 of their last 16 matches at No. 3 and paces all Big Sky doubles tandems with a 16-3 record. With their next win, Pacaut and Wahinepio would set the record for the most doubles wins by a pair in the last 25 years of the program. Aimee Oki and Stephanie Vallejos is the only other NAU duo with at least 16 wins – 16-5 in 2008 – dating back to 1988.
Senior Nicole Perez leads the NAU singles lineup with a 16-7 record. Her 16 wins is currently tied with Portland State's Megan Govi as the most in the conference. Sophomore Hannah Stone became the fifth player on the team to get to 10 singles wins with her three-set win at No. 1 in the Lumberjacks' win at Montana State last Saturday. She joins Perez (16 wins), Pacaut (14), sophomore Johanna Vang (12) and Wahinepio (11) in double-digit wins. With one more victory, senior Ghizelene Doballah will make it all six starters in double-digits, something that has not been accomplished since the 2008 season.
NAU welcomes in Southern Utah on Friday in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Southern Utah currently finds itself fourth in the standings in its first go-around in the Big Sky. The Thunderbirds are riding a four-match win streak and is 9-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference. They are led by Aleksandra Ivanova who has won her last eight matches. Ivanova is a team-best 11-3 and is undefeated in the Big Sky at 6-0. Veronika Rogova is one win behind at 10-4 and 5-1 in the Big Sky and has won her last six matches.
Enchantment Resort in Sedona, located at 525 Boynton Canyon Road, will be the home of both NAU tennis programs the remainder of the spring season. Attendance and parking is free for all in attendance. For more information, refer to the flyer in the link above.
Live scoring will be available for Friday's match here.