The Northern Arizona women's tennis team will head to Phoenix at the end of the month as the first team to have clinched a spot in the Big Sky Conference tournament thanks to three wins last week against Southern Utah, Montana State and Northern Colorado.
First, however, Northern Arizona will continue the regular season in another three-match week against Utah State, Idaho State and Weber State. The Lumberjacks travel to compete against nonconference opponent the Utah State Aggies Friday before taking on Idaho State at noon Saturday and Weber State at 10 a.m. Sunday.
The Lumberjacks are leading the conference this year, currently three wins ahead of Idaho. Junior Hanneke Lodewijks, who was named Big Sky Athlete of the Week, is leading the conference in singles wins with 13. Additionally, all three doubles pairs in Lodewijks and Ellie Millard, Chiara Tomasetti and Madi Moore, and Eirene Granville and Cora Lynn Von Dungern are leading on the courts in wins compared to the rest of their conference opponents.
Utah State is coming off a 5-2 loss against Wyoming and looking to host the Lumberjacks in its lone match of the weekend. The Aggies are currently 11-9 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain West.
Idaho State is 7-9 overall, 4-2 in the Big Sky after garnering a 4-3 win over Montana this past weekend. The Bengals hold a spot in the upper half of the conference standings and will host the Lumberjacks and Montana State Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Like Idaho State, Weber State is also 4-2 in the Big Sky and has an 8-8 overall record going into this weekend. The Wildcats will host nonconference opponent Santa Clara and Montana State before welcoming Northern Arizona.
The men's tennis team will host Montana and Montana State in Flagstaff this weekend.
The Lumberjacks will first compete against the Grizzlies Friday at 1 p.m. before taking on the Montana State Bobcats Saturday at 10 a.m.
Both Montana schools stand above Northern Arizona, which is currently fourth in the Big Sky with an overall 7-10 record and 5-2 Big Sky record. The Lumberjacks the third most conference wins behind Weber State's seven and Idaho's six.
Northern Arizona is coming off a tough loss to Weber State and looking to remain undefeated in Flagstaff after beating North Dakota and Northern Colorado in its home opener.
Currently, the Lumberjacks are being led by junior Lucas Taylor, who has 10 overall singles wins and five in Big Sky action. Taylor is also one of two to receive an athlete of the week honor this season for the blue and gold.
In doubles, both senior Felix Schumann and junior Ruben Montano are leading the Jacks with six overall wins, four in conference play.
This week's matches against the Grizzlies and Bobcats will take place in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex and are free for all who attend.
The Grizzlies are 6-4 overall, 3-1 in the Big Sky, currently holding a top-3 spot in the standings with just three weeks to go. The Grizzlies are coming off a 7-0 sweep over Idaho State and will travel to compete against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
Montana State is currently in a top-3 position in the Big Sky right behind Montana heading into this weekend. The Bobcats are 4-8 overall and 3-1 in conference action and will compete against Northern Arizona Saturday before traveling to compete against Southern Utah Sunday.
TRACK AND FIELD
The track and field program heads to Tempe for Arizona State's 39th annual Sun Angel Classic Friday and Saturday at Sun Angel Stadium.
It is the fourth meet of the outdoor season for the Lumberjacks, who are fresh off solid performances at two national-caliber meets at Stanford University and the University of Texas.
"We're excited to get another shot to come down to compete at Arizona State," said Lumberjacks director of track and field Michael Smith. "We have been working through our process and while I have been very happy with the results up to this point, our athletes know we have some more work to do still before the Big Sky Championships and regionals. We are looking for this meet to be another positive step toward our outdoor season goals."
The field at ASU will be one of the best the Lumberjacks will see during the outdoor regular season as the meet will play host to nine ranked programs, including a top five women's program in No. 4 USC and two of the top six men's programs in No. 5 USC and No. 6 Texas Tech.