OGDEN, Utah – With under two weeks remaining until they open their 2012 season, both the Northern Arizona men's and women's tennis teams were voted third in the Big Sky conference preseason polls released today as voted on by the conference head coaches. Sacramento State was chosen first on both the men's and women's sides atop the polls. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Lumberjack women received 49 points, including one first place vote, to sit behind Sacramento State and Montana, who received 64 and 55 points respectively.
Last season, Sacramento State, winners of 10 straight conference championships, knocked off the women in the Big Sky final, 4-0, for the sixth consecutive year. Despite losing four All-Big Sky selections from last season, junior Malia Wahinepio, a second-team selection, returns to head the Lumberjack lineup in 2012. The Lumberjacks wrapped up the 2011 season with a 13-10 record, their sixth straight double-digit win campaign.
On the men's side, the Lumberjack men received 44 points and one first place vote, finishing one point ahead of Eastern Washington for third place. Like the women's poll, Sacramento State and Montana were ahead of the Lumberjacks at the first and second spots.
Senior Robin Pezzutto is the lone returning all-conference performer from last year's squad, having earned his first career honorable mention honor. The Lumberjacks finished 9-12 in 2011 and reached the Big Sky final for the second consecutive year, where they fell to Sacramento State, 4-1.
The Lumberjack women will kick off their season on Jan. 20 in Tempe with a neutral site match against UC Davis. The following day, the Lumberjack men will be in Tucson to take on Arizona in their season opener. Both matches are set for 11 a.m.
Preseason Polls (As Picked by the Conference Head Coaches)
|Men's Teams||Points||Women's Teams||Points|
|1. Sacramento State||63 (7)||1. Sacramento State||64 (8)|
|2. Montana||53||2. Montana||55|
|3. Northern Arizona||44 (1)||3. Northern Arizona||49 (1)|
|4. Eastern Washington||43 (1)||4. Montana State||44|
|5. Montana State||39||5. Eastern Washington||30|
|6. Weber State||32||6. Weber State||28|
|7. Idaho State||23||7. Northern Colorado||25|
|8. Portland State||18||8. Portland State||21|
|9. Northern Colorado||9||9. Idaho State||8|