LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Northern Arizona men's tennis team had a strong start to the USTA/ITA Mountain Regional Championships on Wednesday, sweeping both of its first round doubles matches and earning a pair of victories in the singles main draw. Seniors Shaun Waters and Patrick Schimmelbauer each won their respective first round singles and doubles matches and advanced to Thursday's second round of action.
The Lumberjacks got the first day of the championships with a sweep in doubles play. Schimmelbauer and junior Dominic Bermudez knocked off Weber State's Todd Fought and Sanjay Goswami, 9-8 (7-6) to advance to the second round of the main draw doubles for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile Waters and sophomore Kester Black defeated BYU's Scott Bohne and Nikki Rae, 8-5, to join the other NAU duo in the next round.
Singles followed the round of doubles and Black took to the court first. However, despite winning the first set, Black dropped his match to Nevada's Moez Chargui, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Nevada would not win two in a row against NAU though, as Waters sent Andrew Poustie of the Wolf Pack to a 6-3, 6-3, defeat in his singles match. Like Black, Bermudez could not convert on a first set win and eventually fell in three sets to Ben Tasevac of Utah, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Schimmelbauer concluded the team's first round action with a straight set, 6-2, 6-2, victory over Montana State's Prithiv Sivasubramaniam.
With their first round defeats, Bermudez and Black fell into the consolation bracket. While Bermudez had a bye into the second round of the back draw, Black played a second singles match on Wednesday. A slow start cost him though, as he fell by a 6-0, 7-5 score to Idaho's Jose Bendeck.
Doubles will once again begin the day on Thursday with Black and Waters taking on the sixth-seeded pair in the tournament, Slim Hamza and Devin Lane of Utah. Bermudez and Schimmelbauer will square off against Travis Fillmore and Francis Sargeant. Both matches will begin at 9 a.m. In their second round matches, Waters will play Matt Oddonetto of Idaho at 11 a.m. and Schimmelbauer will play BYU's Keaton Cullimore, the 14th-seeded player, at 11:30 a.m. Bermudez and Black will play consolation matches later in the day.