HUNTSVILLE -- When the Sam Houston State women's tennis team completes its regular season schedule with Stephen F. Austin Saturday at 2 p.m. at the McAdams Tennis Center, four seniors will be playing in their final home match and one, Lata Assudani, will walk on to the court ranked as the Bearkats' all-time winningest player.
The senior from Nagpur, India, owns a career singles record of 56-38 and a doubles mark of 56-25. Both those totals stand as the most career victories in Sam Houston State tennis annals.
Assudani eclipses the marks of Ivette Andrade who went 53-45 from 2000 to 2002 in singles and Nancy Metcalf who was 52-27 with all partners in doubles from 1982 to 1986.
Assudani along with her three fellow seniors Lauran Janak of El Campo, Emma McDougall of Kallaroo, Austrailia, and Brooke Mills of College Station, have combined to lead Sam Houston State to its two most successful seasons as a member of the Southland Conference.
Last year, Sam Houston tied for third place with a 6-4 league mark and
posted a 12-8 season record.
This year, the Bearkats come into the match with the opportunity to nail
down the number two seed at the Southland Conference post-season tournament and achieve Sam Houston State's highest Southland Conference finish ever.
A Sam Houston victory over SFA Saturday combined with a win by first place Southeastern Louisiana over Texas-Arlington in Hammond would put the Bearkats in a tie for the runner-up spot with UTA in the final standings.
Both teams would end 9-2 in Southland action will Sam Houston earning the number two seed by virtue of their 4-3 victory over the Mavericks earlier this year.
Prior to the past two seasons, the team's highest Southland finish was third place in 1989 when only five teams in the league played women's tennis.
Assudani, Mills, McDougall, and Janak have helped lead the Bearkats to a 23-12 overall record and a 14-6 league mark.
"These four young women have provided excellent leadership for this team this season. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments," SHSU head coach Jim Giachina said. "Lata and Brooke have served as our co-captains this year. All four players have played an important roll into turning this squad into one of the top teams in the league. A week ago, we battled Southeastern Louisiana tooth and nail for the conference title. We're looking forward to representing Sam Houston well in the upcoming Southland Conference tournament."
McDougall comes into her final home match with a 39-33 career singles record that ranks eighth on the all-time Sam Houston singles victory list. She has totaled 21 career victories in doubles.
Brooke Mills has won 23 singles matches and compiled a 19-9 doubles record in two years with sophomore Peta Taylor.
Lauran Janak has been a doubles specialist for the Bearkats the past two years.