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Northern Arizona women's golf team opened the spring season on a high note and is going into day two of the Grand Canyon Invitational ranked second with a score of 301 (+13).

"Today was very good for us. We put a couple people in there, and we weren't sure how it was going to go," said head coach Brad Bedortha. "I thought they handled themselves beautifully, and I am very proud of how they did."

The Lumberjacks trail UC Riverside by six shots, and are just ahead of a pair of Grand Canyon teams tied for third at 302.

NAU was led by four newcomers: freshmen Carly Akine, Sierra Bezdicek and Kaitlin Saum as well as sophomore transfer Kim Cifuentes. Akine is currently in fourth place with a one-over-par round of 73.

"[Akine] played great," Bedortha said. "She's been working really hard and putting in the effort. It was really exciting to see."

Akine was even on par three and par five holes and posted three birdies.

Bezdicek followed Akine and is currently in a tie for 14th with a score of 75 (+3). Saum is tied for 17th with 76 (+4) and Cifuentes is tied for 28th with 77 (+5). Senior Brittany McKee also competed, putting up a round of 81 (+9).

"We just need to continue what we are doing," said Bedortha about the plan going forward. "We had to deal with some rain and some wind today, but I thought they handled themselves really well. We just need to go in prepared to put in the effort."

The Jacks will look to continue their success today with improved weather conditions in Litchfield Park. They'll tee off at 8 a.m.


MEN'S BASKETBALL

Northern Arizona sophomore guard Kris Yanku named Co-Big Sky Player of the Week, announced Monday by the conference office. Yanku shares the accolade with Montana's Martin Breunig. The honor is the first of Yanku's career and the first for a Lumberjack this season.

Yanku had a big week for NAU, as he helped guide the Lumberjacks to a 2-0 mark. NAU improved to 6-1 at home in conference play after defeating Idaho 72-65 on Thursday and knocking off conference-leading Eastern Washington 73-69 on Saturday.

Yanku was a catalyst in the victories as he averaged 20.5 points, 7.0 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. In the win over Idaho, NAU held the league's best three-point shooting team below its average as Yanku scored 22 points, dished out six assists, grabbed five rebounds and recorded three steals. In the thriller versus the Eagles, Yanku netted 19 points, went 12-of-13 from the free throw line, and added eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

The Northern Arizona women's soccer team has released its 2015 schedule, which features nine non-conference matches and nine home matches as the Lumberjacks look to defend their 2014 Big Sky Championship.

"This is a challenging schedule with a good balance of home and away games against strong opponents from different regions," said head coach Andre Luciano. "We always look forward to hosting a PAC-12 opponent and hosting first time opponents. We feel that our non-conference schedule will prepare us for Big Sky Conference play."

Like the 2014 season, NAU will have one exhibition match, against Arizona State, before starting the season. The two teams faced off last year in Glendale -- this year, the match will take place in Prescott at the Prescott Valley Amphitheatre.

NAU will open the season down in the Valley as the Lumberjacks take on Grand Canyon on Aug. 21. This will be the first time that NAU will play at Grand Canyon during the regular season. The in-state matches continue for the Lumberjacks as NAU will host the University of Arizona on Aug. 28 for the Lumberjacks' first home match of the season.

8/14Arizona State (Exhibition)Prescott7 p.m. 
8/21Grand CanyonPhoenix7 p.m.
8/28ArizonaFlagstaff7 p.m.
8/30UNLVFlagstaff7 p.m.
9/4Alabama StateFlagstaff7 p.m.
9/6OaklandFlagstaff12 p.m.
9/11MarquetteMilwaukee, Wis.7:30 p.m.
9/13Loyola ChicagoChicago, Ill.11 a.m.
 NAU Mountain ClassicFlagstaff 
9/18North Dakota StateFlagstaff7 p.m.
9/20Robert MorrisFlagstaff1 p.m.
9/25Sacramento State*Sacramento, Calif.4 p.m.
9/27Portland State*Portland, Ore. 1 p.m.
10/4Montana*Missoula, Mont.12 p.m.
10/9Northern Colorado*Flagstaff

6 p.m.

10/11North Dakota*Flagstaff12 p.m.
10/16Eastern Washington*Cheney, Wash.4 p.m.
10/18Idaho*Flagstaff

12 p.m.

10/23Idaho State*Flagstaff6 p.m.
10/25Weber State*Flagstaff12 p.m.
10/30Southern Utah*Cedar City, Utah4 p.m.
11/5-11/8Big Sky Conference ChampionshipTBATBA

Bold Matches are home

*Big Sky Matches

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Associate Editor

Chris Etling is a copy editor and paginator at the Arizona Daily Sun. He's worked for the Daily Sun since November 2009.

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