Tennis team advances in fall season finale at TCU

FORT WORTH — Lata Assudani and Irina Sotnikova combined to reach the round of 16 in doubles to highlight action for the Sam Houston State women’s tennis team at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Regional tournament hosted by TCU. The tournament completed fall play for the Bearkats.

“I was very pleased to see how well our team competed against the elite of the region,” SHSU head coach Jim Giachino said. “Overall, it was our best effort of the fall season against the strongest competition we have faced to date. That being said, I still think we have to grow a lot more to vie for a conference title in the spring.”

Sotnikova reached the second round of the main draw, falling to Daniela Novakova, UTA 6-3 6-4 after opening with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Alanna Rodgers of Rice. Assudani lost in the first round but won a round in the consolation singles.

“Irina played some solid tennis but let a golden opportunity slip by when she lost a close match against the number one player from UTA,” Giachino said. “She has too much talent not to utilize it more consistently during matches. Lata is moving better and better with each match she plays. Her final hurdle will be developing the confidence to close out matches when she gets ahead.”

Brooke Mills defeated Katerine Palider, UTEP 7-6 3-6 6-4 before falling to LSU’s Tiffany Tucker in the second round of qualifying.

“Brooke played her best tennis of the year. She had a very good first round win against a player who had soundly defeated her adjust two weeks ago, and she had a real shot at defeating a very high quality player in the second round,” Giachino said.

“Irina and Lata did a good job reaching the round of 16 in doubles.”

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