TEMPE, Ariz. - Seven members of the Sam Houston State women’s tennis team earned Scholar-Athlete honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association while helping the squad receive recognition as a 2019 ITA All-Academic Team. 

Sahaja Yamalapalli, Lusine Chobanyan, Karla De La Luz Montalvo, Petra Kaszas, Ema Barkovic, Malou Goes and Ryli Ruffin were each honored by the ITA for their outstanding performances in the classroom. The ITA recently announced the national honors for the Sam Houston program and other squads across the country.

"These academic accolades speak volumes about the young women on our tennis team as this past season they not only excelled to record levels on the court, but they have also achieved at the highest level nationally in their academics,” Bearkats head coach Rob Hubbard said. “This is the seventh consecutive year the women's team has been named to the ITA All-Academic Team, and it is a standard we will continue to strive for each and every season. I am so very proud of our team.”

All-Academic teams boast a team grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Sam Houston State posted a team GPA of 3.59 for the 2018-19 academic year.

To qualify to be an ITA scholar-athlete, students must be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.

All-Academic honors were awarded to 940 teams and thousands of scholar-athletes. Sam Houston State was one of four Southland Conference programs to be recognized by the ITA and tied with Abilene Christian with the most Scholar-Athletes among league members.

Sam Houston State also enjoyed a successful season on the court, finishing in the top 10 of the Texas Regional rankings of the ITA. The Bearkats were the only Southland Conference school in the rankings, coming in at No. 10.

SHSU went 15-8 in the 2019 spring season, including 7-4 in the Southland Conference, and advanced to the championship match of the Southland Conference Tournament.