Women’s tennis victorious, despite downpour
NAU was one of five schools to compete this weekend at the UC Irvine Fall Invitational in California along with UC Irvine (UCI), UA, Loyola Marymount (LMU) and UC Riverside (UCR). The Lumberjacks ended the tournament Sunday with three singles wins.
Seniors Orsi Golovics, Yumi Hasegawa and Aimee Oki won their singles matches to conclude play of the fall season. Golovics defeated UCR player Nadia Sakhakorn 6-3, 6-1. Hasegawa was also victorious against UCR’s Taylor Raney, dropping a 6-1, 6-2 decision. Miya Jin of LMU lost her singles match in a tiebreak round 6-4, 3-6, 10-3 to Oki.
Senior Edit Suhajda missed her last fall tournament. She has been gone since the New Mexico Fall Invitational at the beginning of November due to a family emergency in Hungary. But head coach Kim Bruno has confirmed that Suhajda will be playing again in the spring.
“It’s been weighing on us ever since she’s been gone,” Bruno said. “She’s a key player to the success of this team. So, once she gets back, I think things will be a little more lighthearted, and we’ll be able to move forward with some things. Her absence really affects us.”
The Lumberjacks started the tournament Friday with five singles wins and a doubles victory. There were three draws — the gold draw, blue draw and green draw — and there were two players from NAU in each draw. The green draw saw the most success as Oki and sophomore Alice Walker defeated players from UCR and UCI. Hasegawa and sophomore Nicole Perez came back in their consolation rounds, defeating players from UCR, as well. In the blue draw, sophomore Malia Wahinepio dropped a 6-4, 6-1 decision to UA’s Elizabeth Hammond.
Play on Saturday was canceled due to heavy storms. The forecast originally called for more rain throughout the weekend. Fortunately, the ladies were able to stand the damp courts Sunday and shine through gray skies.
“It was unfortunate that we had that one day that it got rained out, and we didn’t get to play as much as we would have liked,” Bruno said. “But I know for a fact that the seniors, above everyone else, have been looking forward to this. It was nice to see them get that win at the end of the tournament to push us into the spring season.”
The women’s tennis team will return to the courts in January.