HAMMOND, La. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats closed out the regular season on a high note over the weekend, following up a 4-1 loss on Thursday at New Orleans with a 4-3 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday.
The win over the Lions (3-16, 0-11 SLC) was the sixth of the year for the Kats (9-12, 6-5 SLC), marking the most league wins for the program since the 2010 season.
"Every week these girls amaze me more and more," head coach Rob Hubbard said after the win over Southeastern. "They have something extra to bring and are really tough cookies. We weren't happy with dropping the the doubles point today, but we bounced back in the singles and found a way to get it done. Each week we just compete."
Coach Rob Hubbard’s group opened up their weekend at New Orleans on Thursday, but despite another singles win from Mila Milanovic, could not overcome playing shorthanded once again in falling to the Privateers, 4-1, at the University Tennis Center.
Sam Houston, who suited out just four players, played throughout the weekend with a razor-thin margin of error. Without the Kats fielding a third doubles team the Privateers needed just one win in doubles play to secure the point and they got it on the No. 2 court with a win by the tandem of Trang Dao and Brittany Johnson by a 6-1 margin over Khee Yen Wee and Caitlyn Mitchell.
With the doubles point on UNO’s side and only four singles points to be decided, again the Privateers needed only one victory in singles play to clinch the match. Milanovic delayed the UNO victory by winning her fifth straight singles competition, this one at the No. 3 court by a 6-4, 6-4 score over Anna Segarra Rius.
But UNO’s Claudette Gilhespie followed that with a straight-set win over Mitchell at No. 4 play to provide the winning point.
They faced the same uphill battle with only four players suited up on Saturday, but this time with a much different result. Sam Houston got a 6-1 doubles win by Milanovic and Casey on the No. 1 court over Fleur Holtkamp and Dany Raygadas, but SLU managed to take the doubles point with a 7-6 win by Lucia Bustamante and Natalie Duran over Yen Wee and Mitchell on the No 2 flight.
But the tide turned when singles play began. Having surrendered the doubles point the Bearkats needed a clean sweep of their four singles matches to walk away with a win in the match and got just that. Sam Houston got two of their four wins in straight sets in the win, with only Milanovic having to go an extra set, coming back in each of the final two sets before winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 over Raygadas at No. 3 play for her sixth straight singles win this year.
Yen Wee earned her first win on the No. 1 court with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Holtkamp and Casey went on a big run to outlast the Lions’ No. 2 player, Madina Vorotnikova, 4-6, 7-6, 6-0.
Mitchell also earned her third singles win of the year, doing so at No. 4 play by a 7-6, 6-1 score over Bustamante.
The Kats will now get some time off before turning their attention to the Southland Conference Tournament, set to begin April 28 in Beaumont.