The loss does not diminish what turned out to be an outstanding season for the Bearkat netters.
Sam Houston ends the year with a 12-9 record, the most victories for the women's tennis program since 2007. The 12 victories ties as a Bearkat tennis season record. The total equals 12-win seasons by the 1983, 1984, 2002, 2006 and 2007 squads.
The Bearkats earned their eighth consecutive post-season tournament berth and their 10th trip to the event overall. The Kats finished seventh in the regular season standings, then knocked off No. 2 seed Texas State 4-3 in the first round of the tournament Tuesday. Today's match marked only the third time Sam Houston has reached the conference semifinals.
For head coach Jim Giachino, the best news is that all seven players will return next season.
"The team chemistry this year was amazing and the improvement they've shown with their hard work was something special," Giachino said. "Yesterday's win over an excellent Texas State team was a big step. All year long, we've told the girls they have the talent to compete with the best in the conference and they proved it to themselves Thursday."
Sam Houston lost at number one and three doubles and fell in the number one, two and three singles matches as UTA advanced to the tournament finals Saturday.
There were many season highlights for the 2012 Bearkat tennis team including the program's first All-Southland Conference selection since 2009.
Junior Tanya Postnikova earned first team all-league honors after going 9-2 at number four singles in Southland Conference play.
Postnikova ended the season with an 18-8 singles record, the 12th highest season victory total for singles player in program history. She and doubles partner Nadia Dubyanskaya combined for a 13-10 record. With a three-year doubles mark of 39 victories, the pair now rank No. 3 in career doubles wins at Sam Houston State.
In singles Dubyanskaya stands fifth in career wins with 49 and Postnikova is 11th with 42 victories.
Sophomore Natalie Petaia produced a strong 15-11 mark in singles. Sophomore Kayla Stevenson was 7-5 and freshman Olivia Battye went 6-3 in singles.
Petaia and Sheridan Currie and Battye and Imke Jagau paired to give the Bearkats potent doubles duos at the number two and three positions. Currie was one of the heroes of Thursday's upset of Texas State, providing the winning point in a three-set thriller. Jagau played as the Bearkats' number one in singles all season.
Tennis Match Results
UT Arlington 4 Sam Houston 0
Apr 27, 2012 at Nacogdoches, Texas
1. Maria Martinez/Nikola Matovicova (UTA) def. Tatyana Postnikova/Nadia Dubyanskaya (SHSU) 8-4
2. Giada D'ortona/Natalia Mayuk (UTA) vs. Sheridan Currie/Natalie Petaia (SHSU) unfinished
3. Verena Scott/Christine Foote (UTA) def. Imke Jagau/Olivia Battye (SHSU) 8-5
1. Maria Martinez (UTA) def. Imke Jagau (SHSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Verena Scott (UTA) def. Sheridan Currie (SHSU) 6-3, 6-2
3. Natalia Mayuk (UTA) def. Natalie Petaia (SHSU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Giada D'ortona (UTA) vs. Tatyana Postnikova (SHSU) unfinished
5. Nikola Matovicova (UTA) vs. Nadia Dubyanskaya (SHSU) unfinished
6. Liucija Smaizyte (UTA) vs. Olivia Battye (SHSU) unfinished
Sam Houston State 12-9
UT Arlington 16-8
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,2)
2012 SLC Tennis Championships - Semifinals
UTA Advances to the 2012 SLC Finals.