Bearkat tennis red hot in conference

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Hodges

The Sam Houston Bearkats are off to one of their best starts in years with a 7-0 conference record after this weekend’s 6-1 win over Northwestern State University.

The Bearkats have been led all year by senior Constandena Nicolaou (12-0 overall) and junior Sahaja Yamalapalli (13-0 overall). To start Southland Conference action, Sam Houston defeated Nicholls State University 6-1. Yamalapalli started the day off with a 6-1, 6-0 singles victory and the Bearkats never looked back from there.

Next up in the schedule, Sam Houston swept the University of the Incarnate Word 7-0 behind a dominating single’s performance from junior Karla De La Luz Montalvo, who beat Lauren Fulgenzi 6-1, 6-1, as well as Yamalapalli and sophomore Isidora Zivkovic notching wins of their own.

Abilene Christian University fell to Sam Houston 5-2, but next up was Lamar University. Freshman Sahithi Vutukuru clinched the Bearkat victory with a 7-5 win. This moved them to 3-0 on the year with the 6-1 victory.

Next up was the University of New Orleans, Sam Houston’s stiffest competition yet as both teams were unbeaten in conference play. The Bearkats pulled away to win 4-3 behind Yamalapalli defeating Ank Vullings 6-1, 6-0, one of the league’s top singles players.

The University of Central Arkansas followed as they traveled to Huntsville to take on the Bearkats. Sam Houston came away with a 5-2 home victory, staying in conference play. Yamalapalli continued her hot start moving to 12-0 in dual match play.

Most recently, the Bearkats defeated Northwestern State in another convincing win with a 6-1 final score. Sam Houston swept the doubles matches and finished 5-1 in singles matches.

With this win, the Bearkats go on the road for the rest of the season. They will open up their final road trip in Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin State University on April 3.

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