Off to a quick start with the doubles point and wins at number one and two singles, the Sam Houston tennis team appeared on the brink of a stunning upset by a gritty University of New Orleans squad Saturday afternoon at the McAdams Tennis Center.
In the four matches still on court - all in the third set - the Privateers were up 4-0 at number four singles, 4-1 at number three and five spots and tied 4-4 in the number six match. The Bearkats fought back to win three of the four contests and post a 6-1 Southland victory to up their season mark to 11-5. The Kats now stand 6-3 in league play. The result keeps the Sam Houston women in the hunt for a top four seed at the Southland post-season tournament in Beaumont in two weeks.
“This sure didn’t feel like a 6-1 victory,” Bearkat head coach Rob Hubbard said. “After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, suddenly UNO had us on the ropes. But our girls stepped up and fought back to get in control of the match. I’m really proud of the way we hung in there and fought back.”
Carrie Casey and Mila Mianovic defeated Yurina Asai and Trang Dao 6-4 in the number one doubles and Fabienne Gettwart and Khee Yen Wee earned a 6-3 win at number two over Lea Alguacil and Claudette Gilhespie. The two wins clinched the doubles point for the Kats. Wendy French, a walk-on freshman, saw her first doubles action of the spring with Chobanyan at the number three position. The match with Gendra and Luethi was stopped at 4-5 after the doubles point was clinched.
Sahaja Yamalapalli kept the momentum going with a 6-3 6-0 win at number two singles versus Anja Luethi. The freshman’s victory, her 12th overall this season and her eighth singles win in league action, was the only straight set result of the day. Gettwart topped Trang Dao 6-4 4-6 6-3 to produce Sam Houston’s third point of the day. But the next three points were hard to come by.
Milanovic defeated Lea Alguacil 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 for the match-clincher at the number six position. Wee, down four games in the third, rallied for a 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory over Claudette Gilhespie at the number three spot. Lusine Chobanyan also came back from a deficit to win 6-3 4-6 7-5 over Mar Gendra at number five. UNO’s Yurina Asai picked up her team’s only point with a 6-3 3-6 6-4 over Casey.
“My hat is off to Carrie even though she lost at number four,” Hubbard said. “She was down 0-4 and fought back to keep it close. That kept New Orleans from picking up any momentum from getting a singles point while the other matches were still in doubt. Mila came through, picking up the match clincher and Khee and Lusine both fought back for a win as well. This definitely was a team effort today.”
Chobanyan’s win gives the sophomore a 14-1 mark overall and 8-1 record in Southland singles play. Gettwart upped her season records to 12-4 for the year and 7-2 in league action.
Sam Houston will close out its 2018 home schedule with an important Southland Conference match against Southeastern Louisiana Sunday at 12 noon. Following the match, the Bearkats’ five seniors (Casey, Gettwart, Milanovic , Wee and Clarissa Escamilla will be honored in “Senior Day” ceremonies.
The Bearkats will complete the regular season with a road match at Nicholls on Saturday April 21.
Tennis Match Results Apr 14, 2018 in Huntsville, Teas
Sam Houston State 6, New Orleans 1
- 1. Carrie Casey/Mila Milanovic (SHSU) def. Yurina Asai/Trang Dao (UNOW) 6-4
- 2. Fabienne Gettwart/Khee Yen Wee (SHSU) def. Lea Alguacil/Claudette Gilhespie (UNOW) 6-3
- 3. Mar Gendra/Anja Luethi (UNOW) vs. Lusine Chobanyan/Wendy French (SHSU) unfinished 4-5
- 1. Fabienne Gettwart (SHSU) def. Trang Dao (UNOW) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
- 2. Sahaja Yamalapalli (SHSU) def. Anja Luethi (UNOW) 6-3, 6-0
- 3. Khee Yen Wee (SHSU) def. Claudette Gilhespie (UNOW) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
- 4. Yurina Asai (UNOW) def. Carrie Casey (SHSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
- 5. Lusine Chobanyan (SHSU) def. Mar Gendra (UNOW) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
- 6. Mila Milanovic (SHSU) def. Lea Alguacil (UNOW) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5