After grinding out the doubles point, the Northern Arizona women's tennis team made quick work of Weber State, 6-1, to clinch the Big Sky Conference South Division on Saturday at home. The victory was the Lumberjacks' fifth straight as they improved to 11-4 overall and a perfect 7-0 in Flagstaff.
NAU wrapped up its abbreviated conference slate at 3-0 and clinched a spot in the conference championship tournament set to take place in two weeks. It was also NAU's 13th consecutive conference regular-season win and 15th overall versus a Big Sky opponent.
NAU swept the doubles point, but not without some resistance by Weber State, who entered Saturday afternoon's match in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex on a three-match winning streak.
Ellie Millard and Mimi Bland blanked the Wildcats' No. 1 in the first completed doubles match. The remaining doubles matches wound up going to a tiebreaker, with sophomore Elinor Beazley and freshman Gina Dittmann securing their team-best ninth doubles win in the clincher.
Beazley and Dittmann held off Sicely Ferreira and Megan Davies' comeback efforts to clinch the doubles point with a 7-6 victory at No. 2. On court three, senior Madi Moore and freshman Ava Neyestani found themselves down 5-3 before they put together a rally of their own for a 7-6 victory.
Bland notched her 11th consecutive singles victory, 6-0, 6-1, over Lombardi at No. 3. Soon after, Millard rolled past Morett Salas, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 2 to earn her seventh straight singles victory before Dittmann immediately followed with the match-clinching point at No. 1.
Dittmann won 6-2, 6-1, matching Bland with her 11th straight win.
Just one match remains on the regular-season slate for the Lumberjacks next Friday versus Grand Canyon at noon in the Aquatic and Tennis Complex. In addition to being the regular-season finale, the match will also be Millard and Moore's last in Flagstaff on Senior Day.
The Big Sky Conference announced the All-Tournament Team Saturday, and four Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in Madison Montgomery, Paige Maling, Kayla Terhune and Emma Robson received nods.
In their semifinal match against Idaho on Thursday, the Lumberjacks beat the Vandals 1-0. Montgomery provided the lone goal, finding the back of the net on a penalty kick in the 15th minute. The junior was also named as the Co-Offensive Big Sky MVP and received the Golden Boot from the conference prior to the start of the semifinals.
Track and field
The second day of the UNLV Silver State Classic saw the NAU throws team finish its stay in Las Vegas.
After a triumphant performance yesterday, senior Parker Joens delivered again on Saturday. He placed first in the men's discus after throwing a personal best mark of 56.34 meters, and breaking yet another UNLV Myron Partridge Stadium facility record.
His mark currently maintains his second-place spot in the Big Sky and 25th in the NCAA.
The women's discus featured a dominant performance by junior Matile Roe and freshman Carly Watts. Roe championed the event with a personal best mark of 54.85 meters, earning the top slot in the conference so far this season and the 22nd spot in the nation right now. Watts finished directly behind with a personal best throw of 47.83 meters, landing her fourth on the Big Sky leaderboard.
Freshmen Trevor Hook and Clayton Zupke competed in the men's javelin for NAU. Hook threw a personal best of 57.23 to place third and Zupke finished fifth with a mark of 54.80 meters.
NAU will compete at the USATF Grad Prix At Oregon Relays and the Canyon Invitational next weekend.
The men's shot put on Friday was won by Joens, who threw a personal best and set a new UNLV Myron Partridge Stadium facility record of 19.01 meters.
His mark lands him at the top of the conference and 19th in the nation.
Lumberjacks senior Nick Coghill placed second and threw a personal best mark of 18.33 meters, which currently ranks third in the Big Sky.
The women's shot put was dominated by freshman Alaina Diggs, who threw a personal best mark of 16.13 meters to earn her the No. 1 mark in the conference.