GREELEY, Colo. – For the second time in three matches, the Northern Arizona men's tennis team managed to win three of the six singles matches but was doomed by the doubles point in its Big Sky opening 4-3 loss to Northern Colorado. The Lumberjacks fell to 2-7 overall and 0-1 in the conference following Sunday morning's loss at UNC's Work Out West.
"Northern Colorado played well and was prepared," said men's tennis assistant coach Joseph Heckley. "I thought we played well too but we didn't take care of the important points. There were a lot of three-set matches and it comes down to playing big points at the right time. They executed when they needed to and that's what it comes down to in matches like this."
Senior Patrick Schimmelbauer and freshman Sarp Laleli earned a win at No. 2 doubles, defeating Northern Colorado's Jordan Loughnan and Eric Schuermans, 8-5. However, the Lumberjacks fell at the other two doubles positions and dropped the resulting doubles point. Schimmelbauer and Laleli's win ended the pair's weekend, their first as doubles partners, on a positive note.
Down 1-0 in the match, the Lumberjacks managed a split in singles play with victories at No. 3, 5 and 6, but it was not enough as they were just edged out by the Bears. Junior Dominic Bermudez snapped his personal three-match losing streak with a straight-set victory over Loughnan at No. 3, while sophomore Kester Black and Laleli pulled out gritty three-set victories of their own at the final two positions. Black and Laleli both battled back from first-set defeats in their wins and for Laleli, the effort was rewarded with his first career singles triumph. In all, four of the six singles matches went the distance needing the full three-sets which summed up the tightly contested contest between the two teams.
"If you look at the scores from this weekend, they were close especially today," Heckley said. "We were there, we competed but we just came up short. That happened against Air Force (on Saturday) too."
The Lumberjacks will resume play in Las Cruces, N.M. with two matches on Friday and Saturday. With hopes of snapping their three-match losing streak, they will play New Mexico State on March 1 at 1 p.m. and Texas-Arlington the following day at 10 a.m.
2. Sarp Laleli/Patrick Schimmelbauer (NAU) def. Jordan Loughnan/Eric Schuermans (UNC), 8-5
3. Jeff Carlson/Michael Moya (UNC) def. Dominic Bermudez/Kester Black (NAU), 8-4
Order of Finish: N/A
1. Lupo (UNC) def. Waters (NAU), 6-4, 6-2
2. Gendron (UNC) def. Schimmelbauer (NAU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. Bermudez (NAU) def. Loughnan (UNC), 6-4, 7-5
4. Carlson (UNC) def. Martin (NAU), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Black (NAU) def. Moya (UNC), 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-3)
6. Laleli (NAU) def. Schuermans (UNC), 6-7, 6-1, 1-0 (11-9)
Order of Finish: N/A