TUCSON, Ariz. – The sophomore duo of Hannah Stone and Johanna Vang picked up right where they left off in 2012, stepping up to the No. 1 doubles spot and notching two victories on Friday. Unfortunately, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team ran into tough competition and dropped both of their matches to No. 29 Arizona and UC Davis by an identical 6-1 score as they officially opened its 2013 spring season at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center.
"I think we competed hard and we had a lot of tough tennis with two matches in one day," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "I think the girls laid it all out physically, mentally and emotionally. We're getting closer towards achieving our goal and getting to where we need to be and I really believe that."
In the morning match, the Lumberjacks squared off with their in-state rival and the nationally-ranked Wildcats took the doubles point via wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. They were unable to sweep the doubles play though as Stone and Vang, last season's No. 2 doubles team, knocked off UA's Inge Hendrikx and Kim Stubbe at the top position, 8-7 (7-5).
Ahead 1-0 in the match, the Wildcats cruised to the match victory by sweeping the first five singles matches in straight sets. In the final match to conclude, senior Alice Pacaut fought back from a first-set loss and scratched out a three-set victory at No. 5 to provide the 6-1 margin.
Following a short break, the Lumberjacks jumped right back into action with the second half of its season-opening doubleheader. Unlike in its first match of the day, NAU turned the tide on UC Davis and picked up the doubles point by winning at the No. 1 and 3 spots. Stone and Vang rolled through the Aggies' Megan Heneghan and Layla Sanders, the No. 9 doubles team in the Northwest region, 8-2, while Pacaut and senior Malia Wahinepio notched a 8-1 win over Lauren Curry and Nicole Koehly.
The Aggies were able to squeak out a win at No. 2 doubles and continued their winning ways in singles play, quickly erasing the Lumberjacks' 1-0 lead and sealing up the team win by virtue of wins at No. 1, 2, 6 and 5. Vang and Wahinepio were left playing in the early hours of the evening, but would eventually fall in three sets to conclude a long first day of competition.
Although NAU might have come up short on Friday, it was a bright day for Stone and Vang as they started the season 2-0 after posting a team-best 13-6 doubles record as freshmen a year ago and notched their third career doubles win over a duo from a ranked team and first at the top spot in the process.
"They're an outstanding doubles team and they feed off each other," Bruno said. "For them to start 2-0 against great teams today was outstanding and they deserved the step up (to No. 1)."
The Lumberjacks will wrap up their opening weekend with their second match against a nationally-ranked in-state foe in as many days on Saturday when they play No. 37 Arizona State at the Whiteman Tennis Center. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m.
1. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Inge Hendrikx/Kim Stubbe (UA), 8-7 (7-5)
2. Shayne Austin/Lacey Smyth (UA) def. Ghizelene Doballah/Malia Wahinepio (NAU), 8-5*
3. Akilah James/Susan Mc Rann (UA) def. Alice Pacaut/Nicole Perez (NAU), 8-0
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (3, 2, 1)
1. Smyth (UA) def. Stone (NAU), 6-1, 6-0
2. Stubbe (UA) def. Doballah (NAU), 6-1, 6-1**
3. Laura Oldham (UA) def. Vang (NAU), 6-2, 6-4
4. James (UA) def. Wahinepio (NAU), 6-1, 6-0
5. Pacaut (NAU) def. Austin (UA), 6-7, 7-6, 10-3
6. Hendrikx (UA) def. Perez (NAU), 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: (4, 1, 2, 6, 3, 5)
UC Davis Results:
1. Stone/Vang (NAU) def. Megan Heneghan/Layla Sanders (UCD), 8-2
2. Ellie Edles/Tiffany Pham (UCD) def. Doballah/Perez (NAU), 8-7
3. Pacaut/Wahinepio (NAU) def. Lauren Curry/Nicole Koehly, 8-1*
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (1, 3, 2)
1. Heneghan (UCD) def. Stone (NAU), 6-0, 6-3
2. Curry (UCD) def. Doballah (NAU), 6-3, 6-2
3. Sanders (UCD) def. Vang (NAU), 7-5, 1-6, 7-6
4. Edles (UCD) def. Wahinepio (NAU), 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
5. Pham (UCD) def. Pacaut (NAU), 6-2, 7-5**
6. Melissa Kobayakawa (UCD) def. Perez (NAU), 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: (1, 2, 6, 5, 3, 4)