HUNTSVILLE - The Tennis Recruiting Network (www.tennisrecruiting.net) has listed Sam Houston’s 2018 group of five women’s tennis signees as one of the top 31 recruiting classes among NCAA Division I athletic conferences outside the power five leagues (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC).

Only one other women’s tennis program from either Texas, Arkansas or Louisiana (the home states of the members of the Southland Conference) was included on the Tennis Recruiting Network’s list of the top 31 “Mid-Major” recruiting classes. The web site looked at the programs where more than 900 junior tennis players from across the globe inked letters-of-intent. NCAA Division I programs from a total of 13 states were included on the list.

Bearkat head coach Rob Hubbard announced his recruits for the coming year on June 4. The class includes four freshmen and one transfer. Karla De La Luz Montalvo from Katy, Texas; Malou Goes from the Netherlands; Petra Kaszas from Budapest, Hungary; Ryli Ruffin from Mason, Texas and Isidora Zivkovic from Belgrade, Serbia will step on to the tennis court for the Bearkats this fall.

The quintet joins a Sam Houston program that produced its highest season victory total this past spring (14 wins), tied for third place in the Southland Conference (the team’s best league finish in more than a decade) and reached the semi-finals of the Southland post-season tournament.  Four of the 2018 squad’s top six were seniors.

“Our incoming recruiting class for 2018-19 brings a level of play that will help us remain a contender for the Southland Conference championship,” Hubbard said. “It’s exciting for our program to receive national recognition for a quality group of ladies. The talent arriving on campus this fall will help us reload for the 2019 campaign. Additionally, their academic excellence partnered with their strong character and passion to play the game will make them a strong part of the Sam Houston athletic family.”

The 2018-19 Sam Houston women’s tennis recruiting class (in alphabetical order):

Karla De La Luz Montalvo – Katy, Texas / Cinco Ranch HS
Played #1 singles and doubles for Louisiana Tech as a freshman in 2017-18ranked No. 13 in Texas playing for Cinco Ranch High School in Katyranked #12 in Texas recruiting class and top 100 in the US (2017)

Malou Goes – The Netherlands
Comes to Sam Houston with a strong national record in the Netherlands … quarterfinalist in the Netherlands national junior championships … ranked in top 100 in her home country 

Petra Kaszas – Budapest, Hungary
Ranked as high as #6 in U18 and in top 35 in women’s division in Hungary3rd place finish in Hungarian National U18 Championships Club Team won National Team Championship in U18

Ryli Ruffin – Mason, Texas
Ranked top 40 in Texas recruiting class … three- time Texas State 2A Champion for Mason High School, winning singles, girls doubles and mixed doubles state titles … Class Valedictorian

Isidora Zivkovic - Belgrade, Serbia
Ranked #8 in the women’s division and #2 in U18 in Serbia …  earned first WTA point at ITF $10K in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia (2017)former finalist at ITF Jug Open and semi-finalist ITF Tirana Open