FRISCO – Sam Houston State sophomore Sahaja Yamalapalli has been named the 2019 Southland Conference women’s tennis Student-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced Sunday in conjunction with the release of the all-academic teams.
Yamalapalli, who was also named the 2019 Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Year, has a 4.0 grade-point average, majoring in food science and nutrition. She also was a first-team Academic All-Southland honoree.
Luisine Chobanyan, a junior from Yerevan, Armenia, joined Yamalapalli on the Academic All-Southland first team. She has a 3.82 GPA in accounting.
Yamalapalli, who is from Hyderabad, India, is only the third tennis player in school history to be honored as the women’s tennis Student-Athlete of the Year, joining Lata Assudani (2007), Maddie Mortimore (2016) and Irina Sotnikova (2009). Yamalapalli and Sotnikova are also the only two Bearkats to win conference Student-Athlete of the Year and Player of the Year.
Yamalapalli, a first-team All-SLC honoree, went 10-1 in league No. 1 singles play, including a nine-match winning streak, and 16-4 overall. Her 16-4 dual match singles record stands as the third highest wins total and second-best dual match winning percentage (.895) in Sam Houston State history, matching her mark from the previous year.
Chobanyan, who was also a first-team All-SLC selection, went 9-2 at No. 2 singles in Southland Conference action and 11-3 overall. She played No. 5 singles the first four matches, then was promoted to No. 4 at North Texas on Feb. 8. She finished the regular season by winning nine of her last 10 matches.
The Bearkats advanced to the finals of the Southland Conference Tournament this spring.