THE WOODLANDS – The Sam Houston State Bearkat women’s tennis team had no problems with a last-minute venue change on Saturday, sweeping its way past Prairie View, 7-0, at The Woodlands Country Club.
The day was originally scheduled to be a dual-match doubleheader between the teams in Huntsville, but the likelihood of inclement weather changed things in a hurry, forcing the teams to move indoors at The Woodlands Country Club and changing the slate to just a single match.
The change presented little issue for Rob Hubbard’s Bearkats (2-0) as they did not drop a set in either singles or doubles play.
Sahaja Yamalapalli played in the No. 1 spot in both singles and doubles and earned a pair of near-perfect victories. The sophomore teamed up with Karla De La Luz Montalvo for a 6-4 victory over the Prairie View (0-1) duo of Neharika Rama and Constanza Aranguiz in the top doubles slot. She then was the first singles player to close things out, blowing past Rama on the No. 1 court by a 6-0, 6-0 margin.
The Kats had an early lead after taking the doubles point, clinching the point with a win by Ema Barkovic and Petra Kaszas on the No. 3 court after Isidora Zivkovic and Roos Gerritsen quickly took care of things at No. 2 with a 6-1 win over Timara Maxwell and Lucia Garcia.
Yamalapalli made it 2-0 with her singles win and it was followed quickly by a 6-2, 6-0 victory by Zivkovic over Aranguiz on the No. 3 court. De La Luz Montalvo was the next to finish with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Jimena Castellanos at No. 4, setting it up for Barkovic to provide the clinching point with her 6-1, 7-6 win over Garcia at No. 2.
With the team victory already secured, the Bearkats were still able to pick up two more singles wins as Kaszas and Gerritsen were able to pick up straight-set victories on courts 5 and 6.
Sam Houston will now begin a stretch of six of seven matches away from home leading into the start of Southland Conference play when it heads to Houston this weekend for a pair of matches. They will kick off the weekend on Friday with a 2:00 p.m. match at Houston, and return on Sunday to battle Rice on the Owls’ home court at 1:00 p.m.