NAU Snaps 13-Year Drought with 6-1 Win over Sac State
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – For 13 years, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team has had some painful losses at the hand of Sacramento State. Well for the first time since 2001, the Lumberjacks were able to defeat the Hornets 6-1 and head coach Kim Bruno picks up her first win ever against Sacramento State.
"I could not be more proud of my team," said Bruno with a big smile on her face. "We knew going into this match that this was our opportunity. We just didn't beat them 4-3 but we took care of them 6-1 and this goes to show you that our team can beat any team out there."
It was a monumental win for Bruno's program as NAU was able to win eight of the nine matches against the defending Big Sky champions and it started with the Lumberjacks sweeping the doubles matches to start with a 1-0 lead.
After being honored before the start of today's play, senior Tatum Rochin controlled all of her emotions and came away with the 8-6 win along with Jordan Denesik. Rochin carried that momentum into her final singles match in Flagstaff on the No. 5 court and came out with a three-set win over Andie Mouzes. Rochin was able to take the first set with a tough 7-5 win but Mouzes responded in the second set with the 6-1 victory. With one set left, the lone senior made her last match at Continental Country Club a memorable one as she won the third set 6-1 to go undefeated in her final home match.
"I cannot even tell you how happy I am right now," said Rochin jumping up and down. "We have improved so much this season and this match just shows it. The Big Sky is up for grabs and I am so happy I am a part of the team that took down Sacramento State."
Johanna Vang continues to lead the Lumberjacks at the No. 1 position as she went unbeaten today with the 8-5 win in doubles with Sarah Maria Spruch and a three-set win over Sophie Lohscheidt in singles. After falling in the first set 6-4 to Lohscheidt, Vang stormed back and dominated in sets two and three as she came away with the 6-1, 6-0 victory. The native of Sweden has won her last three singles matches in the Big Sky.
"This win feels pretty great," said Vang. "I was struggling a lot with the wind but I changed my game and learned to play with the wind."
Both teams had to deal with heavy winds throughout today's play but the Lumberjacks were able to adjust as some players were even serving underhanded.
Emelia Box got her first win in April in singles as she was up 3-0 in the second set and Alina Solttanici was forced to retire due to injury. Denesik was dominant in her first set against Deimante Bulatovaite with the 6-1 win and the sophomore had to dig deep in the second set as Bulatovaite took her to her limit but Denesik came away with the 7-6 win. Hailey Rochin grabbed the Lumberjacks' final win on the No. 3 court over Olivia Boija. Rochin took the first set 6-4 but Boija responded by taking the second set 7-6. But just like her sister, Hailey finished off with a win in the third set 10-8 to give NAU their sixth win on the day.
Sacramento State's 112-match winning streak was snapped earlier this week by Montana 4-3 and then Montana State took down the Hornets 4-3 but Northern Arizona was the only team able to come away with six wins against the defending Big Sky champions.
NAU is now 8-14 but more importantly 7-2 in the Big Sky and is now in second place in the conference standings with one match remaining in the season. The final match for Northern Arizona is next week against Southern Utah in Cedar City.
- Emelia Box/Hailey Rochin (NAU) def. Sophie Lohscheidt/Olivia Boija (SAC) 8-6
- Johanna Vang/Sarah Maria Spruch (NAU) def. Alina Soltanici/ Deimante Bulatovaite (SAC) 8-5
- Tatum Rochin/Jordan Denesik (NAU) def. Emily McColl/Andie Mouzes (SAC) 8-6
- Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Sophie Lohscheidt (SAC) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
- Emelia Box (NAU) def. Alina Soltanici (SAC) 6-7, 3-0 RETIRED
- Hailey Rochin (NAU) def. Olivia Boija (SAC) 6-4, 6-7, 10-8
- Jordan Denesik (NAU) def. Deimante Bulatovaite (SAC) 6-1, 7-6
- Tatum Rochin (NAU) def. Andie Mouzes (SAC) 7-5, 1-6, 6-1
- Emily McColl (SAC) def. Sarah Maria Spruch (NAU) 6-4, 6-1