HUNTSVILLE – Picking up a 6-1 victory over Southeastern Louisiana, the Sam Houston women’s tennis team celebrated “Senior Day” and completed the program’s first unbeaten home season at the NCAA Division I level Sunday.
The win lifted the Bearkats’ 2018 season record to 12-5 and kept the squad in the hunt for a top four seed at the Southland Conference tournament in Beaumont in two weeks with a 7-3 league record. The 12 victories ties the mark for the most wins in program history. The Kats went 9-0 at the McAdams Center this year. Sam Houston’s only other clean home slate came at the NCAA Division II level in 1984 when the team went 4-0 in Huntsville.
The seven Southland wins are the most since the 2010 squad went 7-4 in league action. The 12-5 won-loss record in 2018 also demonstrates the contributions of the five seniors who played the final home match of their careers Sunday. When today’s two fourth year seniors were freshmen in 2015, the squad went 2-16.
Seniors Carrie Casey, Clarissa Escamilla, Fabienne Gettwart, Mila Milanovic and Khee Yen Wee were honored in a post-match presentation. The 2018 senior class includes four players who all rank among the top 25 players in total career singles and doubles victories in Kat tennis history.
“This is such an amazing group of seniors. I’ve been so fortunate to work with them the past two years,” Sam Houston head coach Rob Hubbard said. “The players are the ones who have made this season’s successes possible with their hard work and leadership. And there’s plenty of tennis left ahead of us.”
The Bearkats will complete regular season play with a dual match versus Nicholls in Thibodaux, Louisiana next Saturday. The contest has been rescheduled after an April 7 rainout.
Fittingly, four seniors started Sunday’s 6-1 win by combining to take the doubles point from the Lions. Casey and Milanovic paired at number one to defeat Dalina Dahlmans and Ximena Yanez 6-2 while Gettwart and Wee topped Katya Cornejo and Jiva de Veer 6-1.
Sophomore Lusine Chobanyan picked up the Kats’ first singles victory with a quick 6-3 6-3 result over de Veer at the number five position. Wee rolled to a 6-0 6-0 blanking of Katya Cornejo in the three singles to put SHSU up 3-0.
Freshman Sahaja Yamalapalli earned the match-clinching point at number two with a 6-3 6-0 win versus Dany Raygadas. Gettwart and Milanovic added victories at number one and six respectively. Gettwart defeated Vorotnikova 6-4 6-2 in the number one singles. Milanovic posted a 6-2 7-5 victory over Yanez at number six. Carnejo earned SLU’s only point with a hard-fought 7-6 7-5 victory over Casey.
Sam Houston State 6, Southeastern Louisiana 1
April 15, 2018 at Huntsville, Texas
- 1. Carrie Casey/Mila Milanovic (SHSU) def. Dalina Dahlmans/Ximena Yanez (SLU) 6-2
- 2. Fabienne Gettwart/Khee Yen Wee (SHSU) def. Katya Cornejo/Jiva de Veer (SLU) 6-1
- 3. Dany Raygadas/Madina Vorotnikova (SLU) vs. Lusine Chobanyan/Wendy French (SHSU) unfinished 3-4
- 1. Fabienne Gettwart (SHSU) def. Madina Vorotnikova (SLU) 6-4, 6-2
- 2. Sahaja Yamalapalli (SHSU) def. Dany Raygadas (SLU) 6-3, 6-0
- 3. Khee Yen Wee (SHSU) def. Katya Cornejo (SLU) 6-0, 6-0
- 4. Dalina Dahlmans (SLU) def. Carrie Casey (SHSU) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5
- 5. Lusine Chobanyan (SHSU) def. Jiva de Veer (SLU) 6-3, 6-3
- 6. Mila Milanovic (SHSU) def. Ximena Yanez (SLU) 6-2, 7-5