FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The NAU Women's Tennis team will compete in their final match of the regular season against the Weber State Wildcats this weekend. The 10-0 Lumberjacks will host the Wildcats and honor three seniors Marta Lewandowska, Hailey Rochin and Blanka Szavay. The 'Jacks have already clinched the Big Sky Conference Regular Season Championship title and will aim to finish the season with a perfect 11-0 record for the first time in school history.
"Senior Day is always a bitter sweet moment," Director of Tennis Ki Kroll said. "Everyone is happy, yet sad, as it's difficult to say goodbye to these three wonderful women."
Combined this year's group of seniors have an accumulative 31 singles wins and 15 doubles wins. Szavay, with one of the top winning records in both singles and doubles this season, has a National No. 63 Ranking in doubles with No. 18 Chiara Tomasetti. Lewandowska and Rochin have paired together nearly all season to help the 'Jacks pull off some close victories, including against Montana State which clinched the title for the blue and gold. All three seniors have garnered conference honors in their respective careers.
Lewandowska, originally from Biatystok, Poland, first came to NAU in 2013. Since her arrival, Lewandowska has garnered 44 singles wins and 48 doubles wins and counting. She has competed in a total of three years in the blue and gold and picked up multiple academic and all-conference honors including a two-time All-Big Sky Honorable Mention selection. She will graduate this May with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.
"Marta is our gentle giant. She is kind and yet so willing to give everything she has for her friends and teammates," said Kroll. "It was always great being on Marta's court in competition, so eager to follow the game plan, and help the team. She is one of the most coachable players I've ever encountered, which is something very special."
Rochin, a Tucson, Ariz. native, has competed for four years as a Lumberjack accumulating 37 singles wins and 47 doubles wins so far in her career. Since first arriving in Flagstaff in 2013, Rochin has garnered quite a reputation as a three-time Big Sky All-Academic Selection, four-time Golden Eagle Award recipient and two-time Big Sky Player of the Week. In addition, she has received two All-Conference Selection honors. Rochin will graduate this May with a Bachelor's degree in Public Health.
"Hailey's commitment is unwavering, always encouraging her teammates, bringing such a positive attitude," said Kroll. "I don't think anyone could ask for a better teammate, she is as good as it gets. It's been an honor having her on our team."
Szavay first came to NAU as a transfer from Barry University in 2014 and has made an impact from the beginning. Originally from Hungary, Szavay is a three-time Big Sky Player of the Week, All-Big Sky First Team Selection and has garnered both regional and national rankings for the Lumberjacks, most recently a National No. 63 doubles ranking with Tomasetti. Szavay has accumulated 42 singles wins and 31 doubles wins and counting. She will finish in December with a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
"When I think of Blanka, the first word that comes to mind is fierce. She is such a fighter, always giving everything she can," said Kroll. "The word quit is not in her vocabulary, and our team has benefited from her strong commitment all season long. Her shoes will be hard to fill."
This senior class has accomplished a lot in their time here at Northern Arizona and it is not over yet. After clinching the regular season title for the second year in a row, the Lumberjacks are aiming for the conference championship. With the regular season's end, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks intend to finish what they started last season with hopes of ending with the best record in program history.
Northern Arizona will compete against the Weber State Wildcats Saturday, April 22 at 10 a.m. The match will be held in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex and is free for all who attend.
- 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.
- Since April 4, Chiara Tomasetti and Blanka Szavay are nationally ranked No. 63 in doubles.
- On April 11, Chiara Tomasetti joined Blanka Szavay in receiving a Big Sky Player of the Week honor this season.
- The Lumberjacks have clinched the 2017 regular season championship title for the second year in a row.
Match Day: Saturday, April 22
Match Time: 10:00 a.m.
Match Location: Flagstaff, Ariz.
The Wildcats are 3-15 overall and 3-6 in the Big Sky conference garnering their three wins over Eastern Washington, Montana and Portland State. Weber State is coming off of a 5-2 win over the Eastern Washington Eagles. The Wildcats have just two matches left in the season competing against Southern Utah and Northern Arizona this weekend, April 21 and April 22. The seven-woman squad is young with just two upperclassmen. Overall, the Wildcats have accumulated just 31 singles wins and 12 doubles wins so far this season. Weber State is led by Director of Tennis Brad Ferreira who started his tenure as the men's tennis head coach. The Wildcats will end their season against the Lumberjacks Saturday, April 22 at 10 a.m.
The Northern Arizona Women's Tennis team will compete in the Big Sky Conference Championship tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. April 27-30. The tournament will be held at the Phoenix Tennis Center. More details on the tournament to be announced on nauathletics.com.
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.