Women's Tennis Prevails After Rain Delay, Defeats EWU 6-1
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Not even a nearly two-hour rain delay and two court relocations could derail the Northern Arizona women's tennis team as extended its win streak to five matches on Friday with a 6-1 victory over Eastern Washington. The Lumberjacks battled both the Eagles and inclement weather over a six-hour span and was rewarded with the victory to improve to 11-8 overall and 4-1 in the Big Sky in their first of three matches over the next four days.
"This is what makes the Lumberjack women's tennis team tough," said director of tennis Kim Bruno. "We don't have a facility and we're always not sure of what's going to happen next and we played on three different courts today but the girls went with it. It could've gone either way, but we didn't let it affect us and that's the sign of a tough team that really wants to win. I'm really proud of the girls today to adapt and go out there and get the W."
Thursday's match began at Continental Country Club where the two teams locked in doubles play. After the Lumberjacks received a relatively easy win at No. 1, they clinched the doubles point with a win at No. 2 by seniors Ghizelene Doballah and Nicole Perez. They wrapped up the doubles sweep with a win at No. 3 despite a furious comeback effort by the Eagles' duo.
The doubles sweep was the Lumberjacks' fifth during their five-match win streak. They have not dropped a doubles match since their loss at Sacramento State on March 10. NAU's No. 3 pair of seniors Alice Pacaut and Malia Wahinepio improved to 12-1 over their last 13 matches and recorded their Big Sky-best 13th doubles victory of the spring.
After doubles play was completed though, the match was hit by rain forcing the delay. With the courts at Continental damp, the match was moved to Coconino High School where play resumed with the start of singles. The delay did not slow the Lumberjacks down though as they quickly clinched the match with victories in the first three completed contests. Doballah started with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 and sophomore Johanna Vang and Wahinepio followed with straight-set victories to put NAU ahead 4-0. Moira Hedberg answered for the Eagles and put the visitors on the board with a three-set win at No. 1 with the matches at No. 5 and 6 remaining. The two teams competed at the final two spots but due to darkness and the lack of lights at Coconino HS, play moved back to Continental Country Club to be completed.
There, Perez rolled in straight sets to her team-leading 13th singles win, which equaled her career-high, and Pacaut prevailed in three sets after dropping the first.
NAU is right back at it on Saturday when they host Idaho State. The match will immediately follow the NAU men's tennis match against Idaho State at approximately 2 p.m. The men will play at 9 a.m. Both matches will be played at Continental Country Club.
1. Hannah Stone/Johanna Vang (NAU) def. Moira Hedberg/Chrissy Uriarte (EWU), 8-3
2. Ghizelene Doballah/Nicole Perez (NAU) def. Rocio Norena/Chelsea Patton (EWU), 8-4*
3. Alice Pacaut/Malia Wahinepio (NAU) def. Alexis Filliol/Kelsey Knight (EWU), 8-6
*Clinched Doubles Point
Order of Finish: (1, 2, 3)
1. Hedberg (EWU) def. Stone (NAU), 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 1-0 (10-1)
2. Doballah (NAU) def. Uriarte (EWU), 6-1, 6-2
3. Vang (NAU) def. Patton (EWU), 6-2, 6-0
4. Wahinepio (NAU) def. Knight (EWU), 6-1, 6-3**
5. Pacaut (NAU) def. Ryann Warner (EWU), 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-5)
6. Perez (NAU) def. Filliol (EWU), 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: (2, 3, 4, 1, 6, 5)