Natalie Heffron defeated her NAU opponent in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3
Feb. 12, 2012
By Amanda Bader
Athletic Media Relations
FORt COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State women's tennis team defeated Northern Arizona in an afternoon of comebacks Sunday at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness. CSU's victory against NAU marked its second consecutive win on home turf this season.
The marathon day, on the heels of a road trip to Boulder Saturday night, didn’t start out well for CSU (2-2, 0-0 Mountain West). But after a dramatic series of come-from-behind triumphs, the Rams dramatically emerged victorious.
In doubles, NAU (2-4, 1-0 Big Sky) clinched the first victory at the No. 2 position, where CSU only managed a game out of the Lumberjack pair.
With both teams putting up a fight for the first point of the contest, it was Kaley Schultz and Tori Arneson at No. 1 doubles that kept Colorado State's hopes alive. The pair overcame a 5-1 deficit and defeated its Northern Arizona opponents 8-6, to leave the fate of the dual point on the shoulders of No. 3 doubles.
"A comeback like we did in doubles was huge," said Head Coach Jon Messick. "Especially to come back from being down 5-1, you could easily say that decided the whole match."
After the sensation win by the No. 1 doubles pair, continuing to fight for every point, it was CSU's Adriana and Veronika Wojakowska at No. 3 doubles that eventually came out on top, assuring the Rams’ first point of the dual, after defeating Northern Arizona in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (5).
In singles, No. 4 Natalie Heffron gave the Rams a 2-0 lead in the team score, defeating Malia Wahinepio in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Arneson was next to finish for Colorado State, but with a different outcome, to put Northern Arizona on the board. Before making a brief comeback in the second set, Arneson fell 6-2, 6-4.
Following Arneson, Lauren Mulhern too put in a tough battle, extending her match to three sets before falling, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The Rams would experience defeat once more at both No. 2 and No. 6 singles, where Lauren Mulhern and Adriana Wojakowska dropped their respective matches, allowing NAU to slip into the team lead, 3-2.
But CSU did not quit. Left to finish on the courts were Schultz and Emese Kordhordo, who kept fans on the edges of their seats as both extended their respective No. 3 and No. 5 matches to three sets.
After a tough battle through the first set and a tie-breaking decision, Schultz dropped the first frame, 6-7, but then quickly came back to win her second set without giving up a single game, 6-0. The third set was another story; again the two put in a grueling fight before Schultz tied up the dual and defeated Nicole Perez of NAU, 7-6 (9), 6-0, 7-5.
As Schultz concluded her match and tied the team score at 3-3, she left the dual-deciding point in the hands, or racquet, of teammate Kordhordo. Kordhordo came through for the Rams after taking her match to three sets, defeating Johanna Vang of Northern Arizona, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 .
Messick thought the win was an important response to a tough loss at Colorado only hours earlier on Saturday.
"To come out and play with the intensity that we did today after last night’s match is truly a testament of our character," said Messick. “We are fit as a team, so today's battle was a mental one."
The Rams will return home Friday and Saturday to take on back-to-back matches against Idaho and New Mexico State at the Miramont complex, in south Fort Collins just behind Sam’s Club. Matches will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free to the public. The Rams will celebrate fan appreciation night Friday with free food and gifts for fans.
Colorado State 4 Northern Arizona 3
1. Arneson/Schultz (CSU) def. Wahinepio/Perez (NAU), 8-6
2. Vang/Stone (NAU) def. Mulhern/Heffron (CSU), 8-1
3. A. Wojakowska/V. Wojakowska (CSU) def. Doballah/Pacut (NAU), 9-8 (5)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*
1. Ghizelene Doballah (NAU) def. Tori Arneson (CSU), 6-2, 6-4
2. Hannah Stone (NAU) def. Lauren Mulhern (CSU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Natalie Heffron (CSU) def. Malia Wahinepio (NAU), 6-2, 6-3
4. Kaley Schultz (CSU) def. Nicole Perez (NAU), 6-7 (9), 6-0, 7-5
5. Emese Kordhordo (CSU) def. Johanna Vang (NAU),6-4, 5-7, 6-2
6. Alice Pacaut (NAU) def. Adriana Wojakowska (CSU), 6-4, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 6, 4, 5*
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