The Sam Houston State University tennis team ‘adopted’ four honorary members to their team during Sunday’s match against South Dakota State University.
The four young girls attended a Bearkat tennis match a couple weeks back when the team became aware the girls have been dealing with a rough home life.
“Once the team realized their story, they wanted to do something about it,” assistant coach Olivia Battye said.
The team wanted the girls to feel as though they are a part of something special. As honorary members, the four girls received a Bearkats Tennis shirt, an oversized tennis ball, Bearkat Tennis poster and an array of other items.
“Its an excellent opportunity to broaden the Bearkat Tennis family by including members of the community in our program,” senior team member Maddie Mortimore said. “I think it’s an honor to have such wonderful girls added to the Bearkat Tennis team.”
The Bearkats did not work through a charity to welcome the young girls but through the kindness of their hearts. This is also the first time the Bearkats have honored members of the community as a part of their team.
“I think it was an amazing thing for the girls to do,” Battye said. “Giving back is an important lesson everyone should learn.”
Along with honoring the young girls, the Bearkats, after dropping the doubles point, won all six singles matches on Sunday against SDSU, earning a 6-1 non-conference dual match victory.
Mortimore, sophomore Caitlyn Mitchell, sophomore Carrie Casey, sophomore Mila Milanovic, freshman Ema Barkovic and sophomore Fabienne Gettwart all defeated their opponents in straight sets during the singles competition.
After the loss in the first set, Gettwart came out victorious against SDSU’s Iasmin Rosa during the only three set match of Sunday’s game. With a record of 3-6, 6-2 and 6-3, the sophomore took first place.
Casey, after she won two tiebreakers, secured second place with score of 7-6 (7-3) and 7-6 (7-2) while Barkovic took third after defeating SDSU’s Florencia Magni 6-4 and 6-3.
Within the doubles competition Gettwart and Mitchell defeated the Jackrabbits 6-1 which secured the duo in third place.
The Bearkats, who currently stand 4-2 for the season, will travel to Arlington over the weekend to take on Missouri State and The University of Texas at Arlington.