The three-time defending Big Sky regular season champion Northern Arizona women’s tennis team takes to the court for the first time this fall at the ITA Bedford Cup in the Mountains tournament starting this Thursday.
The Lumberjacks’ fall-opening tourney, hosted by Air Force, will be held from Thursday through Sunday.
“We’re excited for this weekend and for the girls who are returning to get back at it after summer,” said assistant coach Ewa Bogusz. “We also can’t wait to see our freshmen in action. We’re challenging our girls with our fall schedule and this will be a tough tournament, but we have high hopes that we’ll be a team to watch this year.”
Northern Arizona will bring all eight of the players on its roster to Colorado Springs this weekend. The Lumberjacks return all six of their primary players from a year ago, and have added two freshmen to their conference championship defending roster.
Leading the Lumberjacks’ returnees are senior Hanneke Lodewijks and junior Chiara Tomasetti, who both earned All-Big Sky First Team Singles recognition this past spring. Lodewijks won 18 singles matches, one more than Tomasetti’s 17, as the pair occupied Northern Arizona’s top two spots in the singles lineup.
Sophomore Ellie Millard was an All-Big Sky First Team selection in doubles – with Lodewijks – and second team pick in singles, while sophomore Madi Moore earned second team all-conference recognition in doubles paired with Tomasetti.
Rounding out NAU’s returners are senior Eirene Granville and sophomore Cora-Lynn von Dungern. The Lumberjacks’ two freshmen making their debuts this weekend are Emilie Haakansson and Adrianna Sosnowska.
This weekend’s tournament will feature a tough field including several Mountain West schools as well a number of Big Sky foes.
“We’re going to face tough competition and it will be a good test for us,” Bogusz said. “With that being said, we’re going there to play a lot of matches and the fall is not about results for us. We’re hoping to get good practice in.”
Action from Colorado Springs will start at 8 a.m. each morning.
The Northern Arizona golf team was unable to hold on to its two-stroke lead in the third round of the Hobble Creek Fall Classic.
The team had a combined score of 308 in the third, dropping them from first place to a tie for fifth with Boise State and an overall tournament score of 893.
"We are a young team," Lumberjacks head coach Brad Bedortha said. "We did not perform the way we wanted to today. However, we will learn from it and move forward."
The top finisher for NAU was freshman Aleksandra Chekalina, coming in at ninth with a 6-over 219.
"As a team I saw a lot of good things in our overall performance," Chekalina said. "I know that we need to just put in the time at practice and we will do better. I want to improve. Ninth place is a good start but I want to do better next time."
Right behind her was Ashley Croft, who finished the first day in a tie for third place but would end the tournament in 10th after scoring 79 in the third round and finishing the tournament with an 8-over 221.
Tulsa, who finished in a tie for second place after the first day, won the tournament after posting a 290 in the third round.
Host Utah Valley came in second place with a team score of 879 -- only one stroke better than third place finisher Sam Houston State. Big Sky rival Southern Utah finished in fourth place, one spot ahead of the Lumberjacks, with an overall team score of 891.
"Moving forward we will use this as a learning experience and come out stronger and better because of it," Bedortha said. "I am excited to watch this team work hard before Idaho."
The Lumberjacks will return to action on Sept. 24-25 to compete in the Coeur d'Alene Resort Collegiate Invitational hosted by Gonzaga University in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.