FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona women's tennis team defeated Montana for the tenth consecutive time on Friday, defeating the Grizzlies, 4-3, at Continental Country Club. It was the third straight meeting which the Lumberjacks defeated the Grizzlies by a single team point, and NAU improved to 6-9 this season and more importantly 4-1 in the Big Sky with the victory.
"It was a huge victory for our team," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We came out ready to play. Coming out and sweeping the doubles, our energy level was high and we went in there and took care of the job. We came to play, period."
The Lumberjacks swept through doubles play to clinch the critical doubles point, which proved to be the margin of victory in the overall team score. Freshmen Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang collected their ninth doubles win as a pair, defeating Sasha Carter and Maddy Murray, 8-4, at No. 2 and then juniors Ghizelene Doballah and Malia Wahinepio sealed up the NAU doubles win with an 8-5 victory at No. 1. Juniors Alice Pacaut and Nicole Perez wrapped up the sweep with an 8-6 win at No. 3 over Precious Gbadamosi and Ashley Mackey.
NAU then carried that momentum into singles play, winning the first three singles matches to clinch their crucial conference win. Vang got the Lumberjacks rolling, beating Carter, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 4 for her team-leading eighth singles win of the season, and Doballah and Wahinepio followed that up with wins at No. 1 and 3 respectively.
The Grizzlies would close out the match with wins at the final three singles spots, including wins at No. 5 and 6 in a super tiebreaker, but it would be to no avail as the match was decided already.
The Lumberjacks will be right back at it on Saturday when they host Montana State in their home finale. NAU, 2-2 at home, will look to finish with a winning home record for the sixth straight season with a win over the Bobcats. The match will also be on the back end of a NAU tennis doubleheader and will follow the men's match against Montana State, which is set for a 10 a.m. start, immediately at Continental Country Club.
1. Ghizelene Doballah/Malia Wahinepio (NAU) def. Heather Davidson/Laurence Pelchat (UM), 8-5*
2. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Sasha Carter/Maddy Murray (UM), 8-4
3. Alice Pacaut/Nicole Perez (NAU) def. Precious Gbadamosi/Ashley Mackey (UM), 8-6
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (2, 1, 3)
1. Doballah (NAU) def. Davidson (UM), 6-1, 7-5
2. Pelchat (UM) def. Stone (NAU), 6-4, 6-4
3. Wahinepio (NAU) def. Mackey (UM), 6-3, 6-2**
4. Vang (NAU) def. Carter (UM), 6-3, 6-1
5. Murray (UM) def. Perez (NAU), 6-4, 4-6, 10-5
6. Gbadamosi (UM) def. Pacaut (NAU), 2-6, 7-5, 10-4
Order of Finish: (4, 1, 3, 2, 5, 6)