NAU Women's Tennis To Host Southern Utah and Portland State

Brandy Walker
Brandy Walker

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — After winning their first Big Sky match 4-3 over Sacramento State, the Northern Arizona University women's tennis team is 1-0 and will host two conference opponents in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex. The Lumberjacks will start the weekend on Feb. 25 against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds and conclude with the Portland State Vikings Feb. 26. Both teams are winless in Big Sky play so far.

"It's important for us to be on top of our game for every Big Sky match," said Director of Tennis Ki Kroll. "Portland State and Southern Utah will be no different."

The Lumberjacks are 3-2 overall heading into this match and are building off of their three-match win streak. In doubles, the 'Jacks are 8-4 overall with pair Hanneke Lodewijks and Brandy Walker going undefeated after three matches together. In singles, sophomore Eirene Granville and senior Blanka Szavay are undefeated. Szavay currently leads the team in wins and was the first Lumberjack this season to be named Big Sky Player of the Week. The last time NAU competed against these teams they won 7-0 against Southern Utah and 5-2 against Portland State.

"Everyone on the team continues to push each other daily, and we're very excited to play at home again this weekend," said Kroll. "We look to build on our past two matches and give our best effort."

Match time against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds is set for 10 a.m. at the Aquatic and Tennis Complex in Flagstaff Feb. 25. The following day, the Lumberjacks are set to take on the Portland State Vikings Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. Admission is free for all who attend. 

Highlight Reel

  • The Lumberjacks finished 2016 as regular season champions with an 18-8 overall record and 10-1 in Big Sky Conference play.
  • Since Jan. 4, freshman Chiara Tomasetti sits at No. 18 in the Mountain Region singles rankings.
  • As of Feb. 22, Blanka Szavay is the first Lumberjack named Big Sky Player of the Week in the 2017 season.

Weekend Scout

Southern Utah

Match Day: Saturday, Feb. 25

Match Time: 10:00 a.m.

Match Location: Flagstaff, Ariz.

The Southern Utah Thunderbirds are coming off a tough 6-1 loss to Sacramento State on the road. The Thunderbirds are currently 0-2 in conference with their other loss coming from Idaho. The Thunderbirds are 1-5 overall, gaining their sole win over Lewis-Clark State College to start the season. Senior Evgenia Marushko leads Southern Utah at the No. 1 position going 3-2 in singles.

Led by head coach Rose Ketmayura, the Thunderbirds are looking for their first conference win. Before taking on the Lumberjacks, Southern Utah go up against the Grand Canyon Lopes Friday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m.

Portland State

Match Day: Sunday, Feb. 26

Match Time: 10 a.m.

Match Location: Flagstaff, Ariz.

The Portland State Vikings have yet to win a match and are currently 0-5 overall. They have competed in three conference matches losing 0-4 to Idaho, 1-6 to North Dakota and 3-4 to Montana State. The Vikings have a young team with only three upperclassmen.

Led by head coach Jay Sterling, the Vikings are looking to get some points on the board this weekend. The match against the Lumberjacks will be the only match this weekend for Portland State. Last time these two teams faced off, the Lumberjacks won 5-2 in Portland, Ore.

Coming Up

Northern Arizona will host three non-conference matches on March 3 and 5. Over the two-day span, the Lumberjacks will take on University of Texas - El Paso, Utah State and Pima Community College. Friday, March 3, NAU will compete against UTEP at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5, the 'Jacks start the day against Utah State at 10 a.m. Match time against Pima Community College is set for 3 p.m. following Utah State.

Fall Finish

Northern Arizona competed in five fall tournaments at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University of Arizona, ITA Mountain Regionals in Albuquerque, N.M., Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. All seven Lumberjacks played this fall, with standout seniors Marta Lewandowska and Hailey Rochin and freshman Chiara Tomasetti who had incredible preseasons. To start the fall, senior Blanka Szavay paired with sophomore Hanneke Lodewijks for a doubles win in their first match at the UNLV Invitational. Lewandowska came up with two singles wins and finished 2-1 in doubles with freshman Brandy Walker. Walker picked up a third-place finish in singles for the first time as a Lumberjack in that tournament. At Arizona, the Lumberjacks posted a 9-7 singles record and a notable 7-1 doubles record, including two singles wins for Lewandowska, Tomasetti and sophomore Eirene Granville. The Lumberjacks finished strong with Tomasetti qualifying for the Round 16 in singles at the ITA Mountain Regionals.