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April 7, 2011

Men’s Tennis to Close Home Slate with Key Big Sky Matches

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's tennis team (5-10, 3-1 BSC) will close its home schedule with a pair of critical Big Sky matches this weekend in Flagstaff Athletic Club East. The Lumberjacks will host Eastern Washington (9-12, 3-3 BSC) on Saturday before concluding home play against Weber State (4-10, 3-1 BSC) on Sunday, with both matches starting at 2 p.m. to conclude doubleheaders with the NAU women. Senior David Flodberg will be honored prior to Sunday's home finale.

The Lumberjacks are currently tied with Weber State for second place in the Big Sky standings, trailing only Sacramento State, which has already clinched the regular season title with a  perfect 8-0 conference record. The top-four teams in the final Big Sky regular season standings will advance to the Big Sky championship, to be hosted this season by Montana State. In their three home Big Sky matches, the Lumberjacks have recorded three 7-0 sweeps, going undefeated in singles and dropping just one match in doubles. Flodberg leads the team with a perfect 4-0 Big Sky singles record, while junior Josh Brown has taken the lead in overall singles wins with seven. Flodberg and junior Robin Pezzutto have led the way with a 6-3 season doubles mark.

The Eagles are 3-3 in conference play with wins over Northern Colorado, Idaho State and Montana. Eastern Washington has an impressive 6-6 road record on the season but has dropped four of its last-five matches entering the weekend. Sophomore Fernando Mussolini leads the team with 10 singles wins on the season, including six wins at No. 1. NAU is 6-3 all-time against the Eagles, including 4-3 wins in each of the last-two seasons.

At 3-1 in Big Sky play, Weber State is locked with Northern Arizona in a battle for the second seed in the Big Sky championship. The Wildcats have conference wins over Portland State, Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado, with their lone Big Sky loss to Sacramento State. Junior Simon Unger has again paced the team at No. 1 singles and doubles this season. Weber State has opposed Northern Arizona more times than any other team in the history of the Lumberjack program, with the Wildcats holding a slim 25-24 advantage in the all-time series. The teams split two matches last season, with NAU defeating WSU in the Big Sky championship semifinals.