The Sam Houston State University Bearkat tennis team won its match over Lamar to move up in the Southland Conference standings Saturday evening. The win earned the Bearkats a 5-2 record in the SLC and a 10-4 record overall, the most wins in a season for the program since 2009.
SHSU entered the match with a record of 9-4 on the season and looked to keep up their pace with McNeese, Northwestern State, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the Southland Conference. Lamar entered the match with a 1-5 record in conference play.
Despite the struggles this season, Bearkats head coach Rob Hubbard felt that the Cardinals were still a threat.
“At this point of the season, we have to be ready every time we take the court,” Hubbard said. “Lamar is coming to Huntsville with an axe to grind after we beat them on their home court in 2017. A&M-Corpus Christi, one of the conference leaders, had a really tight match with Lamar winning 4-3 in Corpus. We need to come out strong and keep doing the things that have been successful for us in our victories so far this spring.”
SHSU did not seem worried as they cruised past Lamar 6-1, its only loss came from the freshman duo Roos Gerritsen and Sahaja Yamalapalli in the doubles competition.
Senior Mila Milanovic picked up a pair of wins in the double and single play. The wins helped the team surge past Lamar. Milanovic was excited to get some momentum back on her side with the wins.
“That win in the doubles [match] really helped me in the singles,” Milanovic said. “It was awesome to win the doubles point for the first time in a few matches. It helped me to be more positive in singles where I’ve been struggling some.”
With the victory over Lamar, the Bearkats moved up in the conference standings and are now just a match out of first place in the SLC. The next four matches for the Bearkats are against Nicholls (2-6), McNeese (7-1), New Orleans (2-5) and Southeast Louisiana (2-6). One out of the next four matches is against a team that is ahead of SHSU, which in turn makes them all must win matches for the Bearkats if SHSU wants to have a shot at first place for the conference tournament.
SHSU will now prepare for the 2-6 Nicholls State Colonels at 11 a.m. on April 7 in Thibodaux, La. A win clinches a spot in the Southland Conference tournament for the Bearkats.