Women's Tennis Places All Six Starters on All-Big Sky Teams
OGDEN, Utah – To cap off one of the finest seasons in program history, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team was recognized with a Big Sky leading six players named to the All-Big Sky teams as announced by the conference office on Thursday. The six all-conference selections is a new program high for the Lumberjacks as all six of the team's starters were rewarded for their efforts on the court during NAU's historic 2013 season.
"This is an unbelievable accomplishment and it's well-deserved for all of them," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "They worked their tails off to break records and have the season that they did. To end on a high note to be recognized by our conference, I can't even say how proud I am of all of these girls. It was a team effort and it goes to show that every single girl contributed this year."
The Lumberjacks led the entire conference this season in team singles wins (93) and doubles wins (55) as they sported a deep lineup that featured all six returning starters from a year ago. The experience was apparent as the season progressed with all six singles starters and each of the team's three primary doubles pairings recording double-digit victories. The 55 doubles wins as a squad is a new single-season high for the program while the 93 singles wins were two shy of the equaling the school record.
At the top of the team's lineup was sophomore Hannah Stone, who was the lone Lumberjack named to the All-Big Sky First Team. Stone was 12-11 overall and 7-2 against Big Sky opponents while spending the season primarily at the No. 1 singles position. Stone notched seven of her 12 wins at the top spot while also recording five victories at the No. 2 position. Her 12 wins was two more than she recorded as a freshman last year when she was also selected to the All-Big Sky First Team. Stone is one of three players on this year's All-Big Sky First Team to be a multiple first team honoree.
Seniors Ghizelene Doballah and Nicole Perez were two of four players to be named to this year's All-Big Sky Second Team. Doballah split time with Stone between the top two singles positions this season and posted an 8-9 record as the team's primary No. 2 player. With an overall mark of 12-15 and a 6-4 conference mark, Doballah set a new career-high in victories after posting nine in her first year as a starter in 2012. She was the only player on the team to record wins in both of the team's matches at the Big Sky Championship tournament last week.
Perez was honored after one of the greatest individual seasons in program history. She led the Big Sky with a 19-8 record and posted a team-best 9-1 record against Big Sky opponents as NAU's primary No. 6 player. She posted two win streaks of at least seven matches during the season and in the process equaled the school's single season school record win total of 19 set by Susanna Wallin in 2000.
To round out the team's all-conference selections, seniors Alice Pacaut and Malia Wahinepio and sophomore Johanna Vang were named All-Big Sky Honorable Mention. Pacaut earned her first all-conference selection after finishing second on the team in overall victories with a career-best 16-10 record primarily at No. 5. Her overall record included a 7-3 Big Sky record and was tied with Stone in conference victories. Wahinepio finished her illustrious career with her fourth straight double-digit win season of her career after compiling a 13-12 overall mark and a 6-3 Big Sky record. Playing mostly at No. 4, Wahinepio finished one win shy of her career-high 14 victories in 2011. Vang wrapped up her second season tied with Wahinepio with 13 victories, finishing with a career-best 13-9 record and 6-3 in the conference. Vang notched 12 of her 13 wins at the No. 3 position.
As successful as the team was individually in singles, the six players were even more impressive in doubles play. Pacaut and Wahinepio led the Big Sky with a 20-3 doubles record and broke the school record for doubles victories by a duo competing at No. 3. Doballah and Perez concluded the season winners of their final 13 matches and was second on the team with a 16-9 mark at No. 2, while the team's No. 1 pairing of Stone and Vang was one win behind at 15-8. In all, the Lumberjacks had three of the top four doubles pairs in the conference in terms of victories.
Wahinepio picked up her fourth All-Big Sky honor and became just the sixth player in program history to be a four-time all-conference selection. Stone, Doballah, Perez and Vang all received their second all-conference selection, while Pacaut leaves NAU with her first honor.
The Lumberjacks finished the season 17-10 overall, 8-2 in the Big Sky, and reached the conference semifinals last weekend. The 17 victories is tied for the second-highest single season total in program history and was the most since the 2002 team also went 17-10.