NACOGDOCHES, TX -- Freshman Olivia Battye and sophomore Sheridan Currie battled for victories in three set matchs at number two and number six singles to propel the Sam Houston State women's tennis team to a 4-3 upset of No. 2 seed Texas State Thursday.
The victory put the No. 7 seeded Bearkats in the Southland Conference post-season tournament semifinals for only the third time in the Kats' 10 appearances in the event.
Sam Houston won the doubles point then combined the victories at two and six positions with a straight set win at number five by Nadia Dubyanskaya for its four points.
Sam Houston State (12-8) advances to Friday's semifinals to face the No. 3 seeded UT Arlington Mavericks at 2 p.m. Texas State ends their season with a 14-6 overall record.
One week ago, the Bearkats lost to this same Bobcat squad 5-2 in San Marcos. Head coach Jim Gianchino was proud of his team's turnaround from their loss to the Bobcats last Saturday.
"It was a hard fought match, no question about that," Gianchino said. "Texas State beat us a week ago. We knew they were going to play just as hard as they did last week. We showed a lot of heart out there, but it could have gone either way. To me, it was just a fantastic collegiate match."
A key to the match came early as the Kats won the doubles point after losing it in the regular season finale last weekend.
Texas State took the No. 1 doubles match 8-2, while Bearkats Sheridan Currie and Natalie Petaia defeated Gabriela Rojas and Berenice Van den Bergh at No. 2 and Imke Jagau and Olivia Battye took the No.3 match from Mariana Perez and Rachel Baldree with an 8-4 decision.
In singles, Currie battled to defeat Melissa Hadad in three sets at No. 2 6-4 5-7 6-4. Nadia Dubyanskaya took the No. 5 set 6-3, 6-3 while on the No. 6 court, Battye came from behind for a three-set victory against Van den Bergh 4-6 6-3 6-1. Bobcats Jessica Kahts and Gabriela Rojas both won their matches in straight sets while Baldree came from behind to earn Texas State's third match point against Tatyana Postnikova at No.4. l
Sam Houston trailed 3-2 with Currie and Battye still on the court. After Battye won, Currie earned the decisive victory.
"I felt I just had to win for the team," Currie said. "Everyone played so hard today I just couldn't let them down."
Sam Houston lost to UTA in Arlington in their regular season encounter 4-3.
"We got a lot of help by winning the doubles point, obviously that means so much and then after that every singles match was simply a struggle," Giachino added about Thursday's win ". It came down to a tight third set that could have gone either way. Texas State could just as easily have taken that match from us. I'm not saying we were lucky to win it because we showed a lot of heart out there, but it could have gone either way"
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