FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — With a high of 66 degrees, spring hit Flagstaff just in time for NAU Men's Tennis to show off their beautiful facility for their season's home opener. The Lumberjacks took to the outdoor courts for the first time since the Aquatic and Tennis Complex was built in February 2016 to host their first home match of the season. Northern Arizona competed against the Idaho Vandals with a final score of 4-3 remaining undefeated in conference at 3-0. The Lumberjacks increase to 6-6 overall before going into a double header Friday, March 17.
"We competed hard in doubles and were able to secure the point with great teamwork," Director of Tennis Ki Kroll said.
NAU's pair Tim Handel and Ruben Montano started off strong for the 'Jacks winning on court two 6-4. The Vandals then responded with a 6-4 win over Lucas Taylor and Sebastian Eguez on court one to tie the score. With all eyes on court three, Felix Schumann and Thomas Fisher were able to hold off Idaho's Felipe Fonseca and Guilherme Scarpelli after a back-and-forth tiebreaker. The 'Jacks clinched the doubles point after a 7-6 win and 7-4 tiebreaker, putting the score at 1-0 overall.
"It was nice enough to compete outside, and playing in our brand new facility added to the excitement of competing at home," said Kroll. "We pulled off an important win over the Vandals and we need to continue to improve going into Southern Utah tomorrow."
With the score 1-0, the Vandals responded by tying it up over NAU's Eguez and taking the lead over NAU's Fisher. Idaho fought for both of those points, taking the 'Jacks to only two sets on both courts three and six. Although light, the wind proved to play a factor in how strategic both sides played on the courts. Down by one, the Lumberjacks were able to come back winning the next straight three and the match with victories from Handel, Montano and Schumann. NAU fought hard on every court, as they looked to get their sixth win of the season and remain undefeated in conference. The score was 4-2 before Idaho fought for their last point against Taylor solidifying the score at 4-3.
Northern Arizona will continue play tomorrow at the Aquatic and Tennis Complex. The Lumberjacks will host a double header against UC Riverside and Southern Utah March 17 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. The matches are free for all who attend.
- Mark Kovacs/Carlos Neto (UI) def. Lucas Taylor/Sebastian Eguez (NAU) 4-6
- Ruben Montano /Tim Handel (NAU) def. Lucas Coutinho/Esteban Santibanez (UI) 6-4
- Felix Schumann /Thomas Fisher def. Felipe Fonseca/Guilherme Scarpelli (UI) 7-6 (4)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
- Tim Handel (NAU) def. Mark Kovacs (UI) 6-4, 6-3
- Felipe Fonseca (UI) def. Lucas Taylor (NAU) 6-3, 4-6, 3-6
- Carlos Neto (UI) def. Sebastian Eguez (NAU) 3-6, 2-6
- Felix Schumann (NAU) def. Esteban Santibanez (UI) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
- Ruben Montano (NAU) def. Lucas Coutinho (UI) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
- Guilherme Scarpelli (UI) def. Thomas Fisher (NAU) 5-7, 2-6
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 1, 5, 4*, 2