SEDONA, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona swept through singles play in their first home match of the season, defeating Western Illinois, 7-0, Saturday morning on the courts at Sedona Red Rock High School. Despite the court and site change due to the impending winter storm in Flagstaff, the Lumberjacks rode their home court advantage to their fourth win of the season, improving to 4-8 this spring.
"I thought the team played really well today," said assistant coach Joseph Heckley. "I wanted to see them take it to them today, not let up, and they played their game today. I was really impressed. We're getting better as we play more matches and we're going to be prepared for Sacramento State on Wednesday."
In contrast to the usual procedure, the two teams started the day with singles play rather than doubles. Senior Ben Lantz, freshman Trevor Unger and junior Robert Martin all cruised to easy wins at the four-through-six spots to give the Lumberjacks a 3-0 cushion in the match. Unger's win at No. 5 was his first singles victory of his career.
Senior Robin Pezzutto then clinched the match with NAU's fourth victory of the day, winning at No. 1. Junior Patrick Schimmelbauer and sophomore Dominic Bermudez then wrapped up the Lumberjack singles sweep with wins at the remaining two positions.
With the match already in hand, the Lumberjacks took two of the three doubles matches to secure the doubles point. Martin and Pezzutto first won at No. 2, 8-1, and Lantz and Unger followed with an 8-0 win at No. 3.
The Leathernecks would secure the final doubles match of the day with Patrick Hammers and Ben Yue defeating Bermudez and Schimmelbauer in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-5).
The Lumberjacks will look to build on this win when they pick up with Big Sky play starting Wednesday against Sacramento State. Wednesday's match, currently set for a 2 p.m. start, will be the first of three conference matches for the Lumberjacks this week with Montana State and Montana to follow on Saturday and Sunday. All three matches are home matches and are currently scheduled to be played at Continental Country Club. Keep tuned to nauathletics.com for any updates on time and location of the matches.
1. Patrick Hammers/Ben Yue (WIU) def. Dominic Bermudez/Patrick Schimmelbauer (NAU), 9-8 (7-5)
2. Robert Martin/Robin Pezzutto (NAU) def. Jim Capalbo/Andrew Yopp (WIU), 8-1
3. Ben Lantz/Trevor Unger (NAU) def. Justin Liss/Daniel Sweeney (WIU), 8-0*
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (2, 3, 1)
1. Pezzutto (NAU) def. Hammers (WIU), 6-4, 6-1**
2. Bermudez (NAU) def. Yue (WIU), 6-4, 6-3
3. Schimmelbauer (NAU) def. Capalbo (WIU), 6-4, 6-0
4. Martin (NAU) def. Yopp (WIU), 6-1, 6-0
5. Unger (NAU) def. Sweeney (WIU), 6-0, 6-1
6. Lantz (NAU) def. Liss (WIU), 6-0, 6-1
Order of Finish: (6, 4, 5, 1, 3, 2)