Men’s tennis send off seniors with pair of weekend wins
With a pair of seniors finishing their Lumberjack careers, the NAU men’s tennis team sent them out on a high note as they snapped an eight-match losing streak.
In Sunday’s season finale, the Lumberjacks (6–16, 2–6 Big Sky Conference) emerged with a 6–1 victory over the Seattle University Redhawks (4–6). Seniors Ben Lantz and Robin Pezzutto each took home a pair of wins as they bid farewell to their college careers.
“You know we played well, but we also didn’t play as strong of teams that we played earlier in the season,” said director of tennis Kim Bruno. “Was it great to see them win, for sure. There’s no question about that. We were competing a little bit better, but it’s a little too late for that unfortunately.”
For the second match in a row, the Lumberjacks swept the doubles point and took an early 1–0 lead in the match. Pezzuto and junior Robert Martin won 8–4 to take the first match, while Lantz and junior Patrick Schimmelbauer followed with a 9–8 (8–6) win.
In singles play, Pezzutto won 6–3, 6–3 in the No. 1 spot and Lantz pushed his match to a third set tiebreaker, where he squeaked out a 4–6, 6–1, 1–0 (11–9) victory.
“That was definitely what all of us were talking about prior to going into this weekend, how we really had to step up for our seniors and it was great to see that,” Bruno said. “That felt good for the team and for those guys for sure.”
Just a day earlier, Big Sky Conference play wrapped up for the Lumberjacks (5–16, 2–6 BSC), as they downed the Portland State Vikings (2–17, 0–8 BSC) with a 6–1 victory.
The Lumberjacks opened the match by sweeping the doubles point for the first time since March 10, when they did so against Utah State.
Singles play proved just as successful for the Lumberjacks, taking the first three decisions to clinch the match victory. Sophomore Dominic Bermudez improved to 7–1 in conference singles play and 12–9 overall with his straight set victory at the No. 3 position.
Pezzutto dropped his match at the No. 1 position before Lantz and Martin finished the day with straight set victories for the 6–1 win.
“At least we ended on a high note, that’s important,” Bruno said. ”To get two more wins under our belt in the last bit of the regular season feels pretty good, especially when we’ve been searching for that win for quite a while now.”