2014 Women’s Tennis Season Recap
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The 2013-14 Northern Arizona women's tennis team continued to improve throughout each match this season and the Lumberjacks proved to be one of the top teams in the Big Sky Conference. The Lumberjacks ended the 2014 season with a 9-15 overall record and an impressive 8-2 record in the conference.
Head coach Kim Bruno scheduled some of the top competition throughout the Mountain Region including Arizona State, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada but it paid off later in the season. The Lumberjacks learned from those matches and got better every match. Northern Arizona got back to their winning ways with a win on the road against Eastern Washington and that propelled the women to a three-match winning streak.
Leading the Lumberjacks through that winning streak was junior Johanna Vang who went on a five-match winning streak in singles play with wins against Western Michigan, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, North Dakota and Northern Colorado. Vang's success on the court led the native of Sweden to being named Big Sky Player of the Week on March 11. Also earning Big Sky Conference Player of the Week this year was Hailey Rochin on April 8 after the freshman went unbeaten in singles against Weber State, Idaho State and Utah State.
NAU played their best tennis during conference play as the women picked up eight wins in the Big Sky, four at home and four on the road. Their most memorable win this season was on Senior Day against Sacramento State. 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 Bruno was able to earn her first win ever against Sacramento State.
The women ended the season on a four-match winning streak in conference and a second place finish in the Big Sky. Vang was named First Team All-Big Sky after her stellar performance at the No. 1 position this year for the Lumberjacks. Vang led the team in wins this season in singles with 12 and was tied for fourth in the conference with eight wins in the Big Sky on the No. 1 court. Vang was second in the Big Sky with the most wins at the No. 1 position in conference matches.
Rochin improved each match throughout her freshman campaign and proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in the Big Sky. Rochin was tied for second on the team in singles wins with 10, playing her best tennis when it mattered most, during conference play. On the No. 4 court, Rochin went 8-5 and played stellar in the Big Sky with a 7-3 record in singles play. Rochin was a force in doubles on the No. 1 court as her and Emelia Box picked up 10 wins throughout the season, with five of those wins during conference play.
The Lumberjacks lose lone senior Tatum Rochin who played on the No. 5 & 6 court for NAU but return everyone else including Emelia Box who was a force on the No. 2 court winning seven matches in singles this season. Jordan Denesik, who did not play in a match her freshman year, played very well for NAU on the No. 3 & 4 courts for Bruno this season and will continue to make an impact for NAU next season. All-Big Sky Honorable Mention Hailey Rochin will return as one of the best young players in the Big Sky. Sarah Maria Spruch will enter her final year next season as one of two seniors along with Vang. Spruch was steady at the bottom of the lineup and went an impressive 6-3 during conference play. Vang will continue to lead the Lumberjacks next season as senior captain and will be a preseason Big Sky Player of the Year candidate.
The future is bright for Northern Arizona women's tennis. Bruno has done a great job recruiting and bringing in talent from all across the world and the Lumberjacks will be a team to watch in the Big Sky Conference.