HUNTSVILLE - Sam Houston sophomore Sahaja Yamalapalli won the women’s singles championship at the Telangana State All India Tennis Association tournament in Hyderabad this week.

Yamalapalli defeated Smriti Bhasin in the semifinals and Sravya Shivani in the finals. Coming into the event unseeded, Yamalapalli fought her way into the main draw with a trio of straight set victories in the qualifying rounds. The tournament was held in LB Stadium in Yamalapalli’s home town Hyderabad, the capital of southern India’s Telangana state. The event began on June 18.

During the 2017-18 season at Sam Houston, Yamalapalli rolled up a 22-4 won-loss record in tournament and dual match play combined, the third highest victory total ever by a Bearkat freshman. Her 16-4 mark in dual match competition alone tied the school record set by Irina Sotnikova in 2006.

The Bearkats posted an all-time high 14 team victories in dual match play this spring. The team finished third in the 2018 Southland Conference race, the program’s top ranking since 2007.

Yamalapalli will be one of five players returning for the coming 2018-19 women’s tennis season. Also back will be juniors Lusine Chobanyan and Wendy French and sophomores Roos Gerritsen and Asni Hill.