FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – After garnering their first win of the season against UC Irvine 4-3, the Northern Arizona University Men's Tennis team will remain on the road to take on Arizona Feb. 18. The Lumberjacks are 1-3 with losses against BYU, Utah and San Diego State.
"Coming off a big win last weekend, should give us some confidence going into this match," said Director of Tennis Ki Kroll. "We'll focus on keeping up our intensity, and continuing to work hard on the court."
The Lumberjacks will have one match this weekend against the Arizona Wildcats Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. The Wildcats are 5-2 overall and coming off of back-to-back wins against Grand Canyon and Marquette this past weekend. Northern Arizona has one more week following this match before conference play begins.
- The Lumberjacks finished the 2016 regular season in 3rd place behind Idaho and Weber State.
- As of Jan. 4, sophomore Tim Handel sits at No. 13 in the Mountain Regional singles rankings.
Match Day: Saturday, Feb. 18
Match Time: 2:00 p.m.
Match Location: Tucson, Ariz.
The Wildcats are currently 5-2 this season with losses against UCF and Utah State. A member of the Pac-12 conference, Arizona has a 6-0 advantage over the Lumberjacks. The Wildcats squad includes two seniors, four juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen. Led by head coach Clancy Shields, Arizona is looking for their sixth win of the season.
The Lumberjacks will head to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to take on Air Force and Seattle. Match time versus the USAFA Falcons is set for noon Saturday, Feb. 25. Northern Arizona will also compete against the Seattle Redhawks Sunday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.
This fall, NAU competed in five tournaments at the University of Arizona, ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., University of New Mexico, ITA Mountain Regionals in Las Vegas, Nev. and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Nearly all the Lumberjacks saw preseason action with standout sophomore Tim Handel leading in singles and pairing with transfer Sebastian Eguez in No. 1 doubles. The sophomore went into the ITA Mountain Regionals No. 17 and upped his ranking after his impressive run to the quarterfinals. Now ranked No. 13, Handel became the first athlete in school history to receive a singles ranking in men's tennis in at least 15 years. Felix Schumann and Lucas Taylor also proved ready for this season after winning more than a combined six singles wins. In doubles, Thomas Fisher paired with Handel and Adi Zilberstein for a combined seven wins.
"We have a very deep team this year, so I'm looking forward to season," said Kroll. "We are young and last year was a learning experience for us, but this year I know we are ready to take things to the next level, especially after the fall season we had."