Tennis Bright Start Towards Season

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The tennis team kicked off its season with three games this weekend.

On Friday the Bearkats took on Louisiana State University at Alexandria. The opponent on Saturday was Louisiana Tech. Sam Houston finished up the weekend matches with a series against Prairie View A&M.

The Bearkats returned to their Friday form on Sunday, prevailing over Prairie View A&M seven to nothing.

Sophomore Caitlyn Mitchell had the most exciting day for the Bearkats, winning her doubles match with fellow sophomore Fabienne Gettwart six to nothing. Mitchell then went on to play her singles match out of the six seed, and was the last match of the day.

Mitchell won the first set six games to three, but fell in the second game eight games to six. Since SHSU had already clinched the competition, a “super tiebreaker” was held in which Mitchell won 10 games to eight.

SHSU got off to the best start a team could ask for on Friday, beating LSU-Alexandria seven to nothing. All three of the doubles groups, and all six of the single players won their matches.

Freshman Ema Barkovic had a nice start to her SHSU career, dropping only one set in her singles match and only dropping three sets on the day.

Barkovic played in the two spot for doubles, partnered with senior Maddie Mortimore and played out of the three spot in singles.

Saturday proved to be a little tougher on the Bearkats when Louisiana Tech came out on top six to one.

Sophomore Mila Milanovic and freshman Barkovic were the only Bearkats to force their matches to three sets, but were unable to prevail. Barkovic was once again in the three spot and Milanovic was in the four spot.

“We fought hard at times today, but we have to fight harder on every point not just some of them,” Head Coach Jim Giachino said. “Every point counts and we have to maintain that focus throughout the match.”

Mortimore was undefeated in singles play on Friday and only dropped two games in her doubles performance.

Mortimore also provided the Bearkats with their only match win against Prairie View, which took the match six games to three and eight games to six.

On Sunday, Mortimore dropped five games to the Prairie View squad.

“She did a really awesome job this weekend,” Assistant Coach Olivia Battye said. “It’s good for her to show the younger ones how it’s done. She’s really experienced with four years of college tennis.”

Giachino said according to the weekend’s match, this season is

looking good.

“Picking up a couple of victories on the first weekend of the season certainly is a good way to start, “Giachino said. “Every match I thought we got better.”

Battye agreed.

“I think it was great we started off with a seven zero win,” Battye said. “The girls knew Saturday was going to be a tougher opponent, so it just shows we have a lot of work left to do before conference. The games balanced out the confidence level. It’s equal, which is what you want this early in the season.”

The Bearkats’ next games are on Friday and Saturday in Dallas against Southern Methodist and Montana State.