A key senior made her return from injury and the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks women's tennis team swept its doubleheader at home Friday in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex.
Cleared to play in doubles matches only for the day, Northern Arizona's Hanneke Lodewijks paired up with Ellie Millard in both matches and the two blanked their Mesa Community College opponents 6-0 before recording a 6-3 victory over New Mexico State's duo.
“She’s a very loud player, she brings a lot of energy to the team, so we are super happy she’s back. And she stormed through doubles today,” said Lumberjacks head coach Ewa Bogusz.
Northern Arizona won its home opener of the spring over Mesa Community College, 6-1, with the lone blemish coming at the No. 6 spot in singles, where the host forfeited due to lack of available players. Later in the afternoon, the Lumberjacks handed the Aggies a 4-2 loss.
Lodewijks and Millard clinched the doubles point against the Aggies at No. 2, with Chiara Tomasetti and Adrianna Sosnowska teaming up for the Lumberjacks for a 6-1 win at No. 1 to start it off. Emilie Haakansson and Madi Moore lost in doubles to New Mexico State, 6-3.
Friday got the Lumberjacks back on track, as they moved to 3-3 after spending the first few weekends on the road. The wins also improved Northern Arizona's record at the complex to 24-1.
“This is what the girls are familiar with, they love to play here. We have a great facility and are very fortunate," Bogusz said. "Today, I feel like we had a bit of a home advantage and it definitely helped us get a win.”
Ranked No. 106 in the Oracle/ITA Division I rankings entering the day, Tomasetti kept her perfect singles record intact at 5-0. The junior started the day with a 6-0, 6-0 dominating showing over her Mesa Community College foe and followed up with a 6-1, 6-2 win over New Mexico State's Rebecca Keijzerwaard.
In her third game against Keijzerwaard, Tomasetti showed her confidence is high early in the season when she sent a backhand shot down the line for a point. She ended the fourth game of the opening set on an ace and went ahead 5-0 before having to answer a late break to take the match advantage.
“That’s my favorite shot, so I like to go for that one," Tomasetti of her backhand, which she also uses to stay aggressive on returning serves.
Moore clinched the victory over New Mexico State while playing at No. 5 in singles, winning 7-6, 6-3. Moore won against Mesa Community College, 6-0, 6-0.
“The girls, they were really mentally tough, and I thought we were more vocal than the other team and that helped us out there today,” Bogusz said.
Millard went 6-0, 6-0 in her first match and then lost at No. 2 singles later to her New Mexico State opponent in three sets. She opened against the Aggie foe with a 6-0 victory, then dropped the next two, 6-1, 6-3.
“I think we are in a good place," Bogusz said. "We are definitely not where we want to be yet, but that’s OK because it’s early, it’s just the beginning of February. We want to save the best for April, but with that said we are progressing everyday, we are not wasting days and that’s what we are focusing on right now.”
A freshman on the Lumberjacks roster has been showing she's progressing. Playing on court three for Northern Arizona on Friday, Adrianna Sosnowska won both her matches in straight sets.
"She played out of her mind, she’s working a lot, really hard, and it’s good to see that hard work paying off for her," Bogusz said.
Lumberjacks freshman Emilie Haakansson won against Mesa Community College in straight sets, dropping one game along the way, and she was ahead 2-1 in the tiebreaker with New Mexico State before the day came to an end.
Although she had a bit of rust to shake off, Lodewijks was pleased with the day's results.
“It’s always hard to come back after being out for such a long time, but I think I’m coming along, and it’s nice to have Ellie standing next to me on the court because she is giving me a lot of confidence," the senior said.
NAU will host Utah State at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The Jacks take on San Diego State University on Sunday in San Diego looking to build on a 1-2 record.
Entering the Sunday matchup, the Lumberjacks are coming off of a rough weekend where they went 0-2 against the University of Utah. NAU's Tim Handel was the bright spot for the team. Handel went 3-0 on the weekend with two single wins, and one doubles win. Handel's biggest win on the weekend came against the No. 95-ranked singles player in the country, Dan Little.
TRACK AND FIELD
Northern Arizona participated in two separate meets Friday in Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Classic and in Albuquerque for the Don Kirby Invitational.
In the men's 3,000-meter race, freshman Brodey Hasty led the way for the Lumberjacks with a third-place finish in 8:09.40, shattering his personal best of 8:41.set at the Mountain T's Invite last week. Teammate and fellow freshman Ryan Raff was sixth in 8:10.56 and also set a personal record in the event.
The men's 3000m saw Northern Arizona's Luis Grijalva place second (7:55.26) just behind Wisconsin junior Olin Hacker (7:53.88). Geordie Beamish placed third with a time of 7:56.84 for the Jacks. Beamish beat his time of 8:10.06 set at the 2017 Iowa State Classic to set a new personal best. Tyler Day was 11th in the 3000m.
Meanwhile in Albuquerque a handful of track and field athletes competed for the Jacks at the Don Kirby Invitational hosted by New Mexico.
The men's long jump competition at Don Kirby saw junior Cameron Rayford take 10th place with a mark of 7.23m. Obang Odol placed 10th in the men's high jump (2.02m).
The men's 3000m run saw Aldo Marquez and Collin Ullrich both placing in the top 15. Marquez finished in eighth in 8:39.24, while Ullrich placed 13th. Both set PRs.
Mikayala Malaspina, a redshirt-junior, and senior Shannon Molvin both cracked the top-10 in the women's 3000m run at Don Kirby. Malaspina placed fifth (10:05.84) and Molvin placed eighth (10:17.73).
Alex Alton took fifth place in the men's 600m run for NAU. In the women's 200m dash at Don Kirby, Lumberjacks senior Jasmine Malone placed 10th with a time of 23.89 seconds.
Kevin Cooney took third in the men's weight throw competition with a new personal best of 19.92m.
The Lumberjacks will compete in Day Two of both meets Saturday.