SEDONA, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's tennis team played its first match in Sedona this season against Big Sky opponent North Dakota who went into the match on a two-match winning streak in the Big Sky but the Lumberjacks put a stop to that as Northern Arizona was able to come away with the 6-1 win over North Dakota.
"This was a great team win for us today," said head coach Kim Bruno. "It was a similar win to Eastern Washington where we clinched a doubles point and it could have gone either way. Our girls are showing their improvements and their confidence is building so we are right where we need to be in the Big Sky."
Saturday's play started out with the Lumberjacks winning two of three doubles matches to take the doubles point. Tatum Rochin and Jordan Denesik got the Lumberjacks their first doubles win of the match as the No. 3 team with an 8-2 win over Mikaela Bennet and Stephanie Biehn. At the No. 1 spot for the Lumberjacks was Emelia Box and Hailey Rochin taking the 8-5 win over Callie Ronkowski and Stephanie Petsis to clinch the doubles point.
"We pulled together really well in doubles today," said Hailey Rochin. "All the girls are excited for conference play and it is showing in our play."
This is the second straight match that Northern Arizona has won the doubles point.
"The doubles point was huge because it gives us momentum heading into singles," said Bruno. "The adjustments we made with different partners are working so we need to stick with it and keep improving."
In singles play the Lumberjacks' first two wins came from the Rochin sisters to give the Lumberjacks a commanding 3-0 lead over North Dakota. Tatum Rochin got the Lumberjacks their first win singles with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Mikaela Bennet at the No. 6 position. Tatum's younger sister, Hailey, got a win at No. 4 to give NAU the 3-0 lead as she defeated Stephanie Biehn 6-2, 6-3.
Johanna Vang clinched the win for the Lumberjacks with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Petsis to seal the win for the Lumberjacks. That is the fourth straight win for Vang in singles and her third straight win leading the Lumberjacks at the No. 1 position.
The Lumberjacks are now 3-1 in Big Sky play and are now on a two-match winning streak. Northern Arizona will be back in action on Wednesday, March 19 when the Lumberjacks face Northern Colorado in a double header with men's tennis. Play will begin for the women at 9 a.m. at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona.
"Right now we are on this winning streak and it feels great," said Hailey Rochin. "We are not just playing for ourselves but for our team and we will carry this momentum against Northern Colorado."
- Emelia Box/Hailey Rochin (NAU) def. Callie Ronkowski/Stephanie Petsis (UND) 8-5
- Lacey Sprinkle/Faith Lee (UND) def. Johanna Vang/Sarah Maria Spruch (NAU) 8-6
- Tatum Rochin/Jordan Denesik (NAU) def. Mikaela Bennet/Stephanie Biehn (UND) 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
- Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Stephanie Petsis (UND) 6-4, 6-1
- Callie Ronkowski (UND) def. Emelia Box (NAU) DEFAULT
- Jordan Denesik (NAU) def. Lacey Sprinkle (UND) 6-4, 7-5
- Hailey Rochin (NAU) def. Stephanie Biehn (UND) 6-2, 6-3
- Sarah Maria Spruch (NAU) def. Faith Lee (UND) 7-6, 4-6, 10-2
- Tatum Rochin (NAU) def. Mikaela Bennet (UND) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 1, 2, 3, 5