SACRAMENTO — In a matchup of the top two teams in the Big Sky Conferences standings, Northern Arizona overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Hornets, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at the Sacramento State Tennis Courts.
The Lumberjacks won their eighth straight while improving to 12-6 overall and 7-0 in Big Sky play. Meanwhile, the Hornets dropped to 5-10 overall and 3-2 in league play. The loss dropped the Hornets into a three-way tie for third place in the Big Sky standings. NAU rests comfortably in first place while Southern Utah is 4-2, and Idaho State, Montana and the Hornets are each 3-2.
Sacramento State has just five regular season matches remaining (all against conference foes), including next week at Montana on Thursday and Montana State on Saturday.
The Hornets began the day by winning the doubles point as the No. 1 team of Mikus Losbergs and Louis Chabut won their match, 7-5, before the No. 2 tandem of Donald Hall and Josh Snowdon-Poole won by a 6-4 score. Usually a doubles points victory bodes well for the Hornets as the team entered the day 5-1 when winning the point.
Sacramento State quickly stretched it lead to 2-0 after Hermont Legaspi won at No. 2 in quick fashion by a 6-0, 6-1 score. The junior continues to play well, as he is now 9-6 in singles play, including 3-1 at No. 2 in the lineup. After NAU pulled to with, 2-1, on a win at No. 6 over Hall, Sacramento State took a 3-1 lead after freshman Johannes Gjerdaker won at No. 4 in straight sets (7-5, 6-1). Gjerdaker is now 9-4 this season, including a 5-2 mark at No. 4.
Northern Arizona, however, won each of the final three singles matches, including straight set wins at Nos. 3 and 5 to tie things at 3-3. With the score tied, Mikus Losbergs was locked in a three-set match with Tim Handel. The only three-set match of the day went to Handel, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, to allow NAU to claim its eighth straight win.
Hall suffered an injury early in his singles match that he had to play with the rest of the day. At No. 3, Miller, who lost, 6-3, 7-6, let a 5-2 lead in the second set slip away.