ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Northern Arizona men's tennis team's top-four returnees posted successful results in their fall debuts this past weekend at New Mexico's Balloon Fiesta Invitational particularly in doubles play. Both of the Lumberjack doubles team posted a 2-1 record, including the tandem of senior Patrick Schimmelbauer and junior Dominic Bermudez who made it to the final of their doubles draw.
"We knew that Dom and Pat were successful in doubles last year," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "But this new pairing of Rob (Martin) and Shaun (Waters) was a pleasant surprise. They played great doubles and beat some legitimate teams. They were the standout and there's no other way to describe it other than they came together and played really well."
Bermudez and Schimmelbauer served as the Lumberjacks' primary No. 2 doubles team last year and had an impressive start to the fall season, winning their first two matches to advance to the finals of the Silver doubles draw. However, the duo would fall shy of claiming the title as they fell to a team from the host-school New Mexico consisting of Riaan Du Toit and James Hignett, 8-2, on the final day of the tournament.
Seniors Robert Martin and Shaun Waters were just as impressive in notching a 2-1 mark over the weekend. After dropping their opening match on Friday, Martin and Waters responded with two victories over two pairs from Air Force to close out the tournament.
Martin's doubles play only added to his first action of the fall season, as he also registered a team-best 2-1 record in singles play. He earned two wins over opponents from New Mexico State to bounce back from an opening day defeat. On Saturday, Martin cruised to an easy victory over Guillherme Carvalho, 6-1, 6-3, and then fought back from an opening set loss on Sunday to knock off Jeremy Harlas, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Bermudez, Schimmelbauer and Waters each picked up one singles win apiece. Bermudez and Schimmelbauer each advanced to the semifinals of their respective draws after straight-set victories over opponents from Air Force, while Waters defeated Air Force's Alex Grubbs on Sunday.
"We didn't play well every single match, but I know each of the guys had one match during the weekend where they played really well and showed success," Bruno said. "We needed a couple of good wins heading into Regionals and that was the whole goal of this tournament."
The Lumberjack men's tennis team will be right back in action this weekend at the Santa Barbara Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. beginning on Friday.