NAU Women’s Tennis Travels to North and South Dakota

Hanneke Lodewijks and Brandy Walker
Hanneke Lodewijks and Brandy Walker

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — After 15 matches the Northern Arizona Women's Tennis team is nearing the end of their season and will travel this weekend to compete against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The Lumberjacks remain undefeated in the Big Sky at 6-0 and sit at the top of the conference with Montana State and Idaho, both of whom are 5-0. The 'Jacks are coming off a 7-0 sweep over Eastern Washington and looking to solidify a spot in the Big Sky conference tournament.

"We have been giving it our all every match and I am proud of how the team has been progressing," Director of Tennis Ki Kroll said. "We are going into this weekend ready to take on two tough teams."

The Lumberjack squad is led by No. 18 regionally ranked freshman Chiara Tomasetti, who surpassed senior Blanka Szavay by one win to increase to 12 singles wins. Szavay, the only Lumberjack on the team with a Big Sky Player of the Week honor, pairs with Tomasetti in doubles to lead the 'Jacks with 10 wins. The pair remain undefeated in conference at 5-0 and are 10-2 overall. The Lumberjack squad has garnered an overall 29 doubles wins and 54 singles wins so far this season.

Northern Arizona will start the weekend in North Dakota April 1 at noon against the Fighting Hawks before heading south. The following day, the Lumberjacks will face the Jackrabbits at 11 a.m. Following this weekend, the Lumberjacks will compete in their final four matches against conference opponents Idaho, Montana State, Montana and Weber State.

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.
  • On Feb. 22 Blanka Szavay was the first Lumberjack named Big Sky Player of the Week in the 2017 season.

Weekend Scout

North Dakota

Match Day: Saturday, April 1

Match Time: 12:00 p.m.

Match Location: Grand Forks, N.D.

The Fighting Hawks are 7-13 overall and 4-5 in the Big Sky. The North Dakota squad is coming off of a tough 7-0 loss to Sacramento State. North Dakota is going into this weekend looking to end their now four-match losing streak. The Fighting Hawks 13-woman roster is composed of seven upperclassmen including senior Faith Lee who leads the team with 10 singles wins and pairs with Preethi Kasilingam to lead with seven doubles wins. Overall, North Dakota has accumulated 22 doubles wins and 40 singles wins. The Fighting Hawks are led by head coach Tom Wynne, who is currently in his 26th year.

South Dakota State

Match Day: Sunday, April 2

Match Time: 10:00 a.m.

Match Location: Brookings, S.D.

The Jackrabbits are coming off of a 6-1 loss to Creighton and will face Oral Roberts Friday, March 31 and Omaha Saturday, April 1 before hosting the Lumberjacks. A member of the Summit League, South Dakota State has yet to compete in conference. So far this season the Jackrabbits have garnered just two wins over Westmont College 7-2 and Montana 5-2. They are currently 1-1 against Big Sky opponents. The Jackrabbits are led by head coach Joey J. Barnes who is currently in his first season with the 9-woman squad.

Coming Up

With only four matches left before the Big Sky conference tournament, the Lumberjacks will return to Flagstaff to host the Idaho Vandals in their only match next weekend. The 'Jacks will face the Vandals Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m. before getting back on the road the following weekend for their last two away matches against Montana and Montana 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.