PLANO – Roos Gerritsen had her hand in a pair of wins, but for the day the Sam Houston State Bearkats struggled to put anything else together, dropping a 6-1 decision at North Texas on Friday afternoon.
The match, which was moved indoors to Life Time Fitness in Plano due to inclement weather in the area, looked promising early on as Gerritsen and Lusine Chobanyan evened up doubles play with a 6-1 win on the No. 3 court over Nidhi Surapaneni and Haruka Sasaki; but the Mean Green (4-3) responded with a win on the No 1 court and then scored wins on the first five singles courts.
"As you can see we had multiple opportunities to take control of the match starting with the doubles. With new teams we won No. 3 and led 3-1 at No. 2 but couldn’t close it out," head coach Rob Hubbard said. "In singles we were in a position to win Nos. 1,3 and 5 but came up short. Sahaja was playing a top 100 ranked player in nation but couldn’t quite turn the corner."
Gerritsen was the only Bearkat (3-3) to get Sam Houston on the scoring column, salvaging the final point of the match with a 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 win over Sasaki on the No. 6 court.
After already capturing the doubles point, UNT got straight-set wins form Maria Kononova over Ema Barkovic at No. 2 and from Alexandra Heczey at No. 4 to reach the cusp of a match point which was also secured in straight-set fashion by Surapaeni at No. 3 over Isidora Zivkovic.
The Kats’ top player, Sahaja Yamalapalli, rebounded from dropping the first set to UNT’s top player, Tamuna Kutubidze (ranked No. 69 in the nation) to take the second set before eventually falling by a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 margin.
Karla De La Luz Montalvo also took a set at No. 5 before eventually surrendering the point in three sets to Ivana Babic.
"We are improving but opportunities like this against nationally-rated programs need to be taken advantage of if we are to continue to climb up the food chain," Hubbard said. "We are young but feel we will continue to learn from these experiences as we head into conference play in March and I am interested to see what we bring to the table on Sunday against a top-25 level team like Texas A&M."
Sam Houston is next set to take the court on Sunday afternoon in College Station against Texas A&M. First serve is set for 4:00 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center against the Aggie women, who are off to an 8-0 start - the best in program history – this spring.