BOZEMAN, Mont. – Northern Arizona earned the doubles point and three singles victories for a 4-3 win over Montana State to end the regular season on Sunday afternoon in the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center. The Lumberjacks finished the regular season tied for second place in the Big Sky with a 6-2 conference record and an 8-11 overall mark, while the Bobcats will be the fourth seed in the Big Sky championship after finishing 5-3 in conference play and 9-13 overall.
Northern Arizona will be the No. 3 seed in the Big Sky championship and face second-seeded Montana in the semifinals next Saturday back in Bozeman. The teams met on Saturday in Missoula, with the Grizzlies claiming a 4-3 win. Top-seeded Sacramento State will face Montana State in the other semifinal with Saturday's winners to meet for the conference title on Sunday.
Doubles play on Sunday began with an 8-1 victory for NAU junior Ben Lantz and sophomore Patrick Schimmelbauer at No. 3. The Lumberjacks would clinch the doubles point with an 8-6 win from senior David Flodberg and junior Robin Pezzutto at No. 2, while Montana State would salvage a doubles victory at No. 1.
The Bobcats opened the singles competition with a straight-set win at No. 2, but Lumberjack sophomore Hugo Ramadier would answer back with a 7-5, 6-2 win over MSU's Pawel Turzanski at No. 1. Pezzutto would battle for a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win at No. 3 to put NAU one win away from victory, but the Bobcats stayed alive with a three-set win at No. 4. The Lumberjack win would be clinched at No. 5, where freshman Dominic Bermudez scored a 6-3, 0-6, 6-1 victory over Bobcat freshman Markus Schleuter. Montana State would win the last match of the day, at No. 6, for the 4-3 final score in favor of the visitors.
NAU's Big Sky semifinal match next Saturday vs. Montana will either be played outside at 10 a.m. or inside at noon depending on the weather.