Mens Tennis Upsets Sacramento State in Season Opener, 6-1
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona won two of three
doubles matches and five of six singles battles to upset Sacramento
State, the team picked to win the Big Sky, 6-1 in both teams season
opener on Thursday in snowy Flagstaff. The win for NAU was its
first over the Hornets since a 4-3 victory in Sacramento in 2005,
while the loss for the Hornets ended a streak of 24 consecutive Big
Sky regular season victories dating back to April 1, 2006. The
teams played in the Flagstaff Athletic Club despite the facility
being shutdown due to the multiple feet of snow that fell in
Flagstaff on Thursday.
“We have a lot of talent on this team and it took every player stepping up and playing to their potential to get the victory,” said second-year head coach Kim Bruno. “The guys played great and were focused on not letting anything phase them. We have something great building here and they proved themselves today against a very good Sacramento State team”
The Lumberjacks jumped to an early lead by claiming the doubles point. Freshmen Hugo Ramadier and Kevin Taylor teamed for a 9-7 win at No. 2, while sophomores Andrew Reiff and Robin Pezzutto pulled out an 8-6 win at No. 3. Junior David Flodberg and freshman Patrick Schimmelbauer narrowly dropped an 8-6 decision at No. 1, but NAU would earn the initial point of the match.
NAU would dominate singles play, including a hard-fought 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 7-6 (2) victory for Reiff at No. 1 over the Hornets’ Anton Stryhas. Pezzutto and Taylor claimed straight-set victories at No. 3 and 6, respectively, while Ramadier at No. 4 and Taylor at No. 5 battled for three-set wins. Sacramento State’s Kiryl Harbatsiuk topped Schimmlebauer at No. 2 for the Hornets lone point, as NAU claimed the upset over a Sac State team that fortunately had arrived in Flagstaff Wednesday night before the skies broke open.
Northern Arizona will look to build off the victory when they are scheduled to host Montana State on Saturday at 1 p.m., with the match hinging on the Bobcats ability to get to Flagstaff.