FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona University Men's Tennis team heads to Nevada to compete against UNLV. The Lumberjacks are on a four-match winning streak after going 2-0 in conference against Montana and Montana State this past weekend. Northern Arizona is 5-4 overall heading into this match.
"I was very proud of our performance last weekend," said Director of Tennis Ki Kroll. "We need to keep working hard and building momentum."
Northern Arizona will have one match this weekend before starting a four-match week next week. The Lumberjacks face the UNLV Rebels Saturday, March 11 at 5 p.m. The Rebels are coming off a 7-0 sweep over Boston College remaining undefeated at home.
- 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.
- Lucas Taylor and Tim Handel have both been received Big Sky Player of the Week honors in the 2017 season.
Match Day: Saturday, March 11
Match Time: 5 p.m.
Match Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
The Rebels are 6-2 overall and undefeated at home at 4-0 going into this match. UNLV will host a double header Saturday, March 11 against BYU and NAU after coming off a 7-0 sweep over Boston College. The Rebels have yet to start conference play.
A member of the Mountain West and led by head coach Owen Hambrook, UNLV went 15-10 overall last season and 5-2 in conference at second place behind Utah State. The UNLV roster includes senior Jakob Amilon who was the first rebel this season to receive a Mountain West Player of the Week honor. Last time the Rebels faced the Lumberjacks, they won 5-2.
Tuesday, March 14, the Lumberjacks will travel to compete against New Mexico at 11 a.m. before come home to compete in their season's home opener against Idaho March 16 at 10 a.m. The following day, Northern Arizona will compete in a double header at home against UC Riverside at 10 a.m. and Southern Utah at 2 p.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."