MEN’S TENNIS SEASON COMES TO AN END AT NORTHERN ARIZONA

MEN’S TENNIS SEASON COMES TO AN END AT NORTHERN ARIZONA

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona won the doubles point, and swept all six singles matches on the way to a 7-0 victory over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference men's tennis match on Saturday afternoon.


The loss marks the end of the season for Sacramento State as the team finished 7-14 overall and 5-6 in the Big Sky. The Hornets needed to win one of their final two regular season matches this week to qualify for the six-team Big Sky Tournament. However, Sacramento State lost on the road yesterday to Southern Utah, 5-2, before today's 7-0 loss to NAU.


Had the Hornets won today's match, they would have assumed the No. 5 seed at the Big Sky Tournament in Phoenix on April 26-28. Instead, the postseason field will not include Sacramento State for the first time in 22 years as Idaho, Montana, Northern Arizona, Weber State, Portland State and Southern Utah all clinched spots. Southern Utah would have been eliminated from contention with a loss to the Hornets yesterday.


The Hornets, who played the season with just one senior on the roster, will now miss the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since joining the conference prior to the 1996-97 academic year. Sacramento State had qualified for the postseason event 21 consecutive years until that streak came to an end today.


The Hornets had trouble away from home in conference play where they finished 2-4 on the road and 0-1 at a neutral site. Just two weeks ago, the team was 5-3 in the Big Sky, but dropped each of its final three league matchups (all on the road). Sandwiched in between those losses was a huge 4-3 home victory in a rivalry matchup with UC Davis.


Seven of the team's eight players will be back next year, although the team will lose Kasparas Zemaitelis. The fourth-year senior played at No. 2 or 3 in the singles lineup the majority of the season, and played at No. 1 doubles with Mikus Losbergs all year long.

In today's match, NAU opened the scoring by winning at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to gain the doubles point. The Lumberjacks then won all six singles matches, with five of those coming in straight sets.

Dom Miller forced a third-set tiebreaker at No. 3, but fell, 7-5, 6-7, 10-7. Losbergs kept his match close at No. 1, but fell 6-4, 7-6 (3). Louis Chabut dropped his matchup at No. 5 singles by a 6-4, 6-4 score.

Sacramento State finished the year 5-5 at home, 2-7 on the road, and 0-2 at neutral sites.