Freshman Maddie Mortimore fought off leg cramps in the third set to win the No. 5 singles 6-3 3-6 6-3 to cap the Bearkat women's tennis team a 4-3 upset win over Lamar.
Mortimore's victory put the winning point on the board as No. 6 seeded Sam Houston knocked off No. 3 seed Lamar on the Cardinals’ home court in the first round of the Southland Women’s Tennis Championship Friday in Beaumont.
The Bearkats now advance to face No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the semifinals.
It was a day full of drama with ups and downs for both teams.
Sam Houston earned early break points in two of the doubles pro sets but ended up losing the doubles point as Lamar won at No. 1 and 2 and the No. 3 match was abandoned.
The Bearkats, who lost four matches by narrow 4-3 matches this season, had never come back for a conference win after dropping the doubles point in 2013.
Seniors Tanya Postnikova and Nadia Dubyanskaya won at No. 1 and No. 6 singles. Postnikova defeated Carolina Salas 6-2 7-5 and Dubyanskaya battled to a 6-3 2-6 6-3 win.
The Bearkats' first singles win came at No. 4 singles when Lamar’s Natalia Mayagoliti was forced to retire after injuring her knee at No. 4 singles. Mayagoliti was up 4-0 in the first set when the injury occurred. She tried to continue after an injury time out but retired with the score 4-1.
Sheridan Currie served for the No. 2 singles match at 6-2 5-4 but Carolina Maso battled back to win in three. After the Cardinals' Dariya Dashutina downed Imke Jagau at No. 4, it was up to the Russian seniors.
Dubyanskaya won first to tie the match at 3-3. Battling leg craps, Mortimore took an injury time out at 4-3 then won the final two games to pull off the win.
The victory marks the second year in a row Sam Houston women’s tennis has knocked off a top seed to advance to the semifinals. The Kats knocked off No. 2 seed Texas State 4-3 in last year’s tournament.
FIRST ROUND SOUTHLAND TOURNAMENT RESULTS
SAM HOUSTON 4, LAMAR 3
No. 1 - Carolina Salas/Helene Czudek (LU) def. Tatyana Postnikova/Nadia Dubyanskaya (SHSU), 8-6
No. 2 - Carolina Maso/Natalia Mayagoitia (LU) def. Sheridan Currie/Natalie Petaia (SHSU) 8-3
No. 3 - Alicia Porte/Dariya Dashutina (LU) vs. Maddie Mortimore/Imke Jagau (SHSU) DNF
No. 1 - Tatyana Postnikova (SHSU) def. Carolina Salas (LU) 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 - Carolina Maso (LU) def. Sheridan Currie (SHSU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
No. 3 - Dariya Dashutina (LU) def. Imke Jagau (SHSU) 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 - Natalie Petaia (SHSU) def. Natalia Mayagoitia (LU) 1-4, def. (injury)
No. 5 - Maddie Mortimore (SHSU) def. Alicia Porte (LU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
No. 6 - Nadia Dubyanskaya (SHSU) def. Helene Czudek (LU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
In other singles action Friday, Carolina Maso defeated Sheridan Currie 2-6 7-5 6-1 and Dariya Dashutina won over Imke Jagau 6-1 6-4 at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively.