HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston women’s tennis roared to five straight sets singles victories to open Southland Conference play with a 5-2 dual match win over Nicholls Friday afternoon at the McAdams Tennis Center.

The Bearkats upped their season record to 6-3 and extended their record-setting home winning streak to 12 matches. Sam Houston went undefeated on their home court with a 9-0 record during last year’s march to a program record of 14 dual match wins.

New Orleans, 4-3 winners over Stephen F. Austin in the Privateers’ league opener in Nacogdoches yesterday, are the next hurdle for the Kats. The pair meet at 2 p.m. today (Saturday).

Isidora Zivkovic began Friday’s singles success for the Kats with a quick 6-0 6-2 victory at number two singles. Karla De La Luz Montalvo finished next with a 6-4 6-0 score at number three. Roos Gerritsen remained perfect in dual match play with a 6-1 6-3 showing at number five. Bearkat number one player Sahaja Yamalapalli picked up the clinching point with a 6-2 7-5 performance. Lusine Chobanyan added the fifth point with a 6-4 7-5 result at number four.

In other Southland Conference matches Friday, Northwestern State edged defending co-champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-3 in Natchitoches. McNeese, the Southland’s other co-champion last year, got off to a better start with a 7-0 blanking of Incarnate Word in Lake Charles. Abilene Christian won 4-3 on the road at Southeastern Louisiana and Central Arkansas defeated Lamar 5-2 in Conway.


Match Box Score:
Sam Houston 5, Nicholls 2

Doubles competition:
1. Stephanie Barnett/Daphne Haverkamp (NICH) def. Lusine Chobanyan/Roos Gerritsen (SHSU) 6-4
2. Sahaja Yamalapalli/Isidora Zivkovic (SHSU) def. Lingfeng Gu/Mariia Kozachok (NICH) 6-2
3. Antonia Roessli/Marina Vigil (NICH) def. K DeLaLuz Montalvo/Malou Goes (SHSU) 7-6 (8-6)


Singles competition:
1. Sahaja Yamalapalli (SHSU) def. Stephanie Barnett (NICH) 6-2, 7-5
2. Isidora Zivkovic (SHSU) def. Marina Vigil (NICH) 6-0, 6-2
3. K DeLaLuz Montalvo (SHSU) def. Antonia Roessli (NICH) 6-4, 6-0
4. Lusine Chobanyan (SHSU) def. Lingfeng Gu (NICH) 6-4, 7-5
5. Roos Gerritsen (SHSU) def. Daphne Haverkamp (NICH) 6-1, 6-3
6. Mariia Kozachok (NICH) def. Malou Goes (SHSU) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)

Match Notes: Nicholls 2-5, 0-1 Sam Houston 6-3, 1-0 Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,5,1,6,4