For the second day in a row, the No. 6 seeded Sam Houston women’s tennis team left everything on the court in a Southland Conference championships dual match thriller in Beaumont.
Friday, the Bearkats upset No. 3 seed Lamar 4-3 in the tournament first round. Saturday in the semifinals, Sam Houston was on the brink of another upset against No. 2 seed A&M-Corpus Christi but could not close out the match.
The Islanders won 4-2 to advance to the Southland women’s finals against No. 4 seed Northwestern State. The Demons defeated No. 1 seed and regular season champion Southeastern Louisiana in the other semifinal.
Due to the threat of rain, the two teams played singles first instead of doubles.
Tayna Postnikova put Sam Houston up 1-0 with a 6-4 6-0 victory over Doris Kuselj. Stefania Nicolae, Sandra Burges and Celia Rodriguez all won in straight sets in the No. 3, 4 and 5 singles to put A&M-Corpus Christi up 3-1.
Nadia Dudyanskaya kept the Kats alive with a 7-6 6-0 victory over Mia Matuszak at No. 6 singles.
Sheridan Currie was Sam Houston’s last hope to force doubles play. Currie lost the first set 6-4 Maider Martin but won the second set 6-4 and was up 4-3 in the third.
After a nearly 20-minute ninth game in the third however, Martin finally went up 5-4 and held on to win the No. 2 singles and the match.
A victory would have put Sam Houston in its first Southland Conference tournament finals.
“The past two days, our young women showed what they were made of,” Sam Houston head coach Jim Giachino said. “They fought for every point. It was just a great effort. Congratulations to A&M-Corpus Christi for their gutty performance as well.”
TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI def. SAM HOUSTON STATE 4-2
Beaumont Municipal Tennis Center
No. 1 - Tatyana Postnikova (SHSU) def. Doris Kuselj (TAMUCC) 6-4, 6-0
No. 2 - Maider Martin (TAMUCC) def. Sheridan Currie (SHSU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
No. 3 - Stefania Nicolae (TAMUCC) def. Imke Jagau (SHSU) 6-1, 6-3
No. 4 - Sandra Burges (TAMUCC) def. Natalie Petaia (SHSU) 6-2, 6-4
No. 5 - Celia Delgado Rodriguez (TAMUCC) def. Maddie Mortimore (SHSU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 - Nadia Dubyanskaya (SHSU) def. Mia Matuszak (TAMUCC) 7-6, 6-0