HUNTSVILLE – Finishing up its first tournament of the season, the Sam Houston State tennis team posted several promising performances over the weekend at the Rice Invitational at the George R. Brown Tennis Center.

Sophomores Sahaja Yamalapalli and Karla De La Luz Montalvo broke out consolation wins while Petra Kaszas and Roos Gerritsen finished fourth overall in their respective flights. Isidora Zivkovic and Lusine Chobanyan earned consolation runner-up titles while Ema Barkovic earned a first-round win after a hard-fought weekend.

After dropping the opening round, Yamalapalli bounced back and claimed a 6-2, 6-0 victory over South Florida’s Amelie Boy to advance to the consolation finals. She carried over the momentum into her next match and posted a pair of 6-2 set wins over Houston’s Sophie Gertis to claim the consolation crown.

De La Luz Montalvo dropped her opening match to the eventual flight-four champion but broke out a 2-0 win (6-2, 7-6) in round two to advance to the consolation finals. She returned on Sunday and earned a dominant 2-0 victory (6-1, 6-0) to end the tournament.

Facing an Islander from conference foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Zivkovic ground out her first collegiate win in an impressive back-and-forth effort. After dropping set one 0-6, she came roaring back and claimed the next two sets 7-5 and 11-9 to grab the win.

Chobanyan fell to Texas State’s Rishona Lewis in a close 5-7, 6-7 opening match. Despite the opening setback, she returned to face UNT’s Sillie Tranberg where she earned a hard-fought, 2-1 win. The junior claimed the opening set 6-4 and dropped set two by a score of 5-7. Laying it all on the line, she chipped away at Tranberg and claimed set three, 10-6, to win the match. Chobanyan advanced to the consolation finals but fell to Texas State’s Ana Perez in a close 4-6, 5-7 match.

Kaszas and Gerritsen both posted close first-match wins. Kaszas defeated Stephen F. Austin’s Kaja Ljubic 2-1 (6-4, 1-6, 6-2) in flight eight and Gerritzen edged out Texas State’s Andrea Fuchs 2-1 (6-0, 0-6, 7-6) in flight nine. Both dropped their next two matches to finish fourth overall. The lone senior on the squad, Barkovic came away with a first-round win after Minying Liang of North Texas pulled out of the match.


Coming Up Next

The Kats continue fall play at the H.E.B. Invitational on Oct. 5-7 in Waco, Texas. For all the latest information on the Sam Houston State tennis team, visit or follow @BearkatsWTEN on Twitter.