How many tries is it going to take before Northern Arizona’s women get to wear the Big Sky tennis crown?
More than five, evidently.
Sacramento State just won its ninth straight Big Sky women’s tennis championship. They beat the Lumberjacks in the finals, 4-0. And that’s the fifth straight time the Jacks have fallen to the Hornets while reaching for the ultimate prize.
NAU just completed its fourth straight winning season, compiling its fifth consecutive winning record in conference play.
But they have to settle once again for second place in the Big Sky. Five years, five times a bridesmaid.
Sacramento State was the only Big Sky team to defeat the Jacks all season. But the Hornets’ path of destruction is littered with other conference teams. They have now won 72 straight Big Sky matches.
However, there was some good news this week. The NAU women’s team placed five players on the All Conference team.
Edit Suhajda became just the third player in NAU program history to be named to the first team three times, putting her up there with the most honored players all-time. The junior had off-season shoulder surgery and missed most of the fall season, but came back in the spring to post a 13-6 dual record and a 7-1 mark in Big Sky singles play.
Three players were named to the second team. Orsi Golovics went 4-1 in conference and 9-7 overall in duals play at No. 1 and No. 2 singles – despite missing four matches due to injury. Malia Wahinepio was recognized for her doubles play, joining with Golovics at No. 1 doubles to go 5-0 in conference, and then going 6-2 in singles play after winning 10 of her first 12 matches. And Yumi Hasegawa recorded a team-best 14-4 dual record in her second year as a starter, including an 11-match winning streak.
Honorable mention went to Nicole Perez, a local recruit from Fountain Hills who just completed her frosh debut. After a slow start, losing her first four matches, she won 10 straight and 13 of her final 15 duals.
Next year will offer another chance for the Jacks to break the grip Sacramento State has on the conference title. And they should be in a good position to get it done finally.
All five All-Conference picks will be back next year.