The Northern Arizona football team will kick off the 2019 spring practice schedule on Tuesday, March 26.
Northern Arizona for the first time will host its annual spring game on a Friday, a game being billed as Friday Night Lights: NAU Football Spring Showcase. The game is scheduled for Friday, April 26, at 6 p.m. at the Walkup Skydome. Admission is free for all fans. Doors will open at 5 p.m.
The NAU Spring Football Showcase will be also aired live on the Lumberjack Radio Network and televised from 6 to 7 p.m. on Your Phoenix CW, with the voice of the Lumberjacks, Mitch Strohman, on the call.
The Lumberjacks will make an appearance in Phoenix Saturday, April 13, for a full-contact scrimmage at Chandler High School beginning at 1 p.m. Admission will be free for all fans.
Each of the 15 spring practices are open to the public and will take place at the outdoor practice fields adjacent to the Skydome. During inclement weather, practice will be inside the Skydome.
The Lumberjacks will be led by head coach Chris Ball, who was officially hired in December after serving three seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Memphis. Ball is joined by a total of six new members to the NAU coaching staff.
The Lumberjacks return a total of eight starters on offense and nine defensively from last season's squad that finished 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the Big Sky.
Included in the returners is quarterback Case Cookus, who boasts 7,968 passing yards and 74 touchdowns in his career.
The Northern Arizona men's tennis team will be back on the road for weekend matches on Saturday and Sunday as the team takes on Montana and Montana State. The Lumberjacks enter the weekend with a 4-6 record overall and are 1-0 in the Big Sky Conference.
"The team has been practicing on a different intensity recently," Lumberjacks head coach Maciej Bogusz said. "Our upperclassman are leading the way and getting the best out of each player on the team."
The Lumberjacks are coming off a 5-2 win Saturday win over Southern Utah, marking the first home match of the season for the Jacks and their first conference match. And the victory snapped a three-match losing skid.
Through 10 matches the Lumberjacks' top singles player is Tim Handel, who holds a 7-1 record on the season and is nationally ranked as the No. 119 singles player in the country. Following Handel in wins is Facundo Tumosa and Ruben Montano, both with three.
Northern Arizona's doubles pairs are nearly even on the season as Handel and Montano and Taylor, and Tumosa both have five wins, while Chris Steele and Tom Fisher have four wins.
"The last match has shown the experience on our team, and I can't wait to see that again in the upcoming matches," Bogusz said.
Montana heads into the matchup against Northern Arizona with a record of 3-7 overall and a record of 1-1. The Griz started the season out strong as they were 3-1 and have since been on a six-match losing streak. UM's lone conference win came in a 5-2 victory over Northern Colorado on Feb. 8.
Montana's No. 1 singles player headed into the match with NAU is Alex Canellopoulos, who currently is 2-7 in the spring. The Griz with the most wins in singles is Oisin Shaffrey, with seven.
Montana State enters the weekend with an overall record of 1-6 and has yet to play a Big Sky Conference match. The Bobcats lone win of the season came in a 7-0 victory over Whitman.
In singles, the Bobcats have both Drew Brown and Alexander Flink as their No. 1. The two have a combined record of 3-5 while Flink leads the team with a total of four singles wins.
The Jacks have a Friday afternoon matchup with New Mexico at 1 p.m. as their tour through the Mountain West Conference continues. Northern Arizona's lone match this week is its second of a string of three straight road matches against Mountain West foes.
"After last weekend, we took the good things, like our first conference win which was important, and we want to build on that," said head coach Ewa Bogusz. "We had a short week in town, but we've used these two days as much as we can to correct the little details. Going forward, we're hoping to take care of the little things."
Northern Arizona displayed a lot of positives in dispatching Northern Colorado, 5-2, in its first match last week. The Big Sky-opening win was followed by a 4-1 loss to Wyoming to close the road trip.
"Doubles was close (against Wyoming) and then we rebounded really well in singles," Bogusz said. "We had a really good start in singles and we were hopeful because the ladies started very strong mentally. Knowing that we can be this tough mentally and battle against good teams like Wyoming puts us in a good place."
After a split on the road, the Lumberjacks (4-5 overall) face a quick turnaround before traveling to Albuquerque on Friday. NAU and New Mexico will square off for the ninth consecutive year, with the two teams splitting the last eight meetings. The Lumberjacks edged the Lobos, 4-3, last season at home, marking their second straight victory in the series, but overall New Mexico holds a 19-5 all-time head-to-head advantage.
Fresh off her fourth Big Sky Player of the Week award of the season, Lumberjacks junior Chiara Tomasetti enters the weekend with an 8-0 singles record. Tomasetti moved up eight spots in the Oracle/ITA Division I national rankings after earning two more straight set victories. In all, Tomasetti has posted seven straight set wins in a row and she leads the Big Sky with eight victories at No. 1 singles.
Tomasetti and freshman Adrianna Sosnowska also claimed doubles victories at No. 1 last weekend against both Northern Colorado and Wyoming to extend their win streak to six matches. At 7-2 overall, the pair is tied for the league-lead with Eastern Washington's Rylee Braeden and Madeline Lamoreaux for most wins at the top doubles position.
Sosnowska is 5-3 in singles play splitting time between the No. 3 and No. 4 positions with her five victories ranking second on the team. Fellow freshman Emilie Haakansson ranks third with a 4-3 singles record and is on a three-match win streak that only trails Tomasetti. Haakansson has primarily alternated with Sosnowska at the third and fourth spots in the lineup.
Since senior Hanneke Lodewijks returned from an injury last month, she and sophomore Ellie Millard have compiled a 3-2 doubles record at No. 2 slotting in behind Tomasetti and Sosnowska.
New Mexico last competed in mid-February and will be looking to snap a five-match losing streak on Friday. The Lobos, who are 3-7 overall, will be in the right place to do so as they have posted a perfect 3-0 on their home courts at the Estes Tennis Center this spring.
The Lobos are led by Bronte Murgett and Yue Lin Chen, who each have tallied four singles wins this spring. Murgett has played at both the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, while Chen has competed primarily at No. 6 singles.
Murgett and Natasha Munday had won their first seven doubles matches before dropping their last match against No. 22 Texas Tech. Still, Murgett and Munday owns an impressive 7-1 record at No. 3 doubles to pace New Mexico.