Kats Upset at SLC Tennis Tourney

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Sam Houston State's magic 2007 women's tennis season ended Saturday afternoon as Texas-Arlington defeated the Bearkats 4-1 in the semifinals of the Southland Conference tournament.

The Mavericks advance to the finals Sunday to meet regular season champion and two-time defending tournament champion Southeastern Louisiana.

Texas-Arlington avenged a 4-3 loss to the Bearkats in Huntsville that opened Sam Houston's Southland Conference play. The Mavs got off to a strong start, winning the doubles point.

Sam Houston this year is 12-0 in matches in which it won the doubles point and now 0-5 in contests in which the Bearkats dropped the doubles point.

UT Arlington won the doubles point with wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 spot.

No. 2 doubles, Daniela Novakova and Sara Pesic upended Brooke Mills and Peta Taylor, 8-6, while Sofya Lifanova and Marissa Brown took the No. 3 match with an 8-4 win over Lauren Janak and Patricia Manzur.

In singles, Simri van Rooyen rallied from a 3-2 deficit in set one to win
6-4, 6-0 at the No. 3 position. Sam Houston State picked up their only match of the day when Emma McDougall defeated Marissa Brown 6-4, 6-1.

At No. 1 singles, Monika Peciulionyte won the first set quickly, 6-2, and
then rallied from a break down to beat Irina Sotnikova 6-3. The win was
sweet for Peciulionyte after losing to Sotnikova in the regular-season
meeting in straight sets.

"This is a tough way to end the season but our hat is off to
Texas-Arlington. They played a great match," Sam Houston State head coach Jim Giachino said. "They won the big points when they had to and it just wasn't our day."

Sam Houston State ends the season with a 12-5 record, the best season mark ever by a Bearkat squad at the NCAA Division I level. The Kats' 9-2 league mark and Southland Conference runner-up finish also were bests for Sam Houston in their 20 years in the Southland.

In putting together a 12-4 overall record and 9-2 Southland regular sesaon mark (both the best ever records by an SHSU squad), the doubles point proved to be the decisive factor.

"We accomplished a lot this season," Giachino said. "Our four seniors, Lata Assudani, Brooke Mills, Emma McDougall, and Laura Janak all played important roles in our success. I'm very proud of this team."

Tennis Match Results
UT Arlington Mavericks vs Sam Houston State
Apr 21, 2007 at San Antonio, Texas

UT Arlington Mavericks 4, Sam Houston State 1
Doubles competition:
1. Monika Peciulionyte/Simri van Rooyen (UTA) vs. Irina Sotnikova/Lata
Assudani (SHSU)
2. Daniela Novakova/Sara Pesic (UTA) def. Brooke Mills/Peta Taylor (SHSU)
8-6
3. Sofya Lifanova/Marissa Brown (UTA) def. Lauren Janak/Patricia Manzur
(SHSU) 8-4

Singles competition:
1. Monika Peciulionyte (UTA) def. Irina Sotnikova (SHSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Daniela Novakova (UTA) def. Lata Assudani (SHSU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
3. Simri van Rooyen (UTA) def. Brooke Mills (SHSU) 6-4, 6-0
4. Peta Taylor (SHSU) vs. Sofya Lifanova (UTA) 4-6, 5-4, unfinished
5. Emma McDougall (SHSU) def. Marissa Brown (UTA) 6-4, 6-0