HUNTSVILLE – Aiming for another successful season, the Sam Houston State tennis team begins its 2018-19 campaign on Sept. 21-23 at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas.

The Rice Invitational, held at the George R. Brown Tennis Center, will be an all-day event each day of the tournament. Doubles are scheduled to begin at 9 am. with singles following at 10 a.m. Impending inclement weather may move action up as early as 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. 

The field includes host Rice, Alabama, Houston, Oklahoma, Maryland, McNeese, Northwestern State, Stephen F. Austin, SMU, South Florida, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas State, North Texas, UT Arlington and UTSA. 

The Kats return six veterans and welcome six newcomers for the 2018-19 season. Team captain Ema Barkovic is the lone senior on the squad and Lusine Chobanyan is the one student-athlete in the junior class.

Sophomores Asni Hill, Sahaja Yamalapalli and Roos Gerritsen all return to the court and will be joined by junior transfers Karla De La Luz Montalvo and Stevie Ybarra. Four Kats – Ryli Ruffin, Isidora Zivkovic, Malou Goes and Petra Kaszas – make up SHSU’s nationally-ranked freshman class.

The 2018 squad chalked up 14 dual match victories, the most ever in any of the program’s four decades of NCAA tennis competition. Sam Houston picked up valuable Commissioner’s Cup points by finishing third in the Southland Conference regular season final standings. The Kats followed up with a semi-final performance at the league’s post-season tournament.

Final Details

The 2018 Rice Invitational begins on Friday, Sept. 21 and will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 23. For all the latest information on the Sam Houston State tennis team, visit or follow @BearkatsWTEN on Twitter.