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SHSU tennis shutouts NCTC in season opener

Contributing Reporter

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 3, 2014 23:02

Isabella Costa

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

Freshman Isabella Costa prepares for a forehand hit against North Central Texas College in doubles play with sophomore teammate Karen Martinez.

Sam Houston State’s tennis team shutout North Central Texas College 7-0 Wednesday at the McAdams Tennis Center in its first regular season match.

SHSU swept across the board in doubles before splitting up to win each of their respective singles match.

Seniors Olivia Battye and Natalie Petaia teamed up for the first time to win 8-1 as the number one doubles spot in a dominating performance.

“We kept playing our game and avoided playing their game,” Battye said.

After falling behind 0-3, sophomore Maddie Mortimore and senior Kayla Stevenson came back to win at the number two doubles spot in tiebreaker fashion. The duo finished the match on top 8-7 (7-4).

“We just made sure to trust in our game and relax and that’s what brought us through,” Mortimore said.

Freshman Isabella Costa and transfer sophomore Karen Martinez completed the doubles sweep with an 8-3 victory in the number three doubles spot after slipping behind early.

Sam Houston continued to dominate in the singles matches. 

Playing in the top spot, Battye’s experience and intelligence of the game was the key to the match en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

In the number two spot, Mortimore’s consistency from her doubles comeback led to several long rallies with her opponent, but - in the end - it was Mortimore’s strong backhand that helped her pull off a 6-1, 6-0 victory. 

Stevenson, Petaia and Martinez, playing in the three, four and five spots respectively, each won in straight sets.

In the closest and most exciting singles match of the day, Costa used a powerful forehand to beat her opponent 6-4, 6-4 and help Sam Houston complete the sweep on NCTC.

“Their intensity and focus when they were on the courts was exceptional,” head coach Jim Giachino said. “They were very nervous coming out, but once it started they calmed down and played really good tennis.”

The Bearkats match against McMurray on Sunday was rained out.

SHSU returns to action Friday at 10 a.m. as they play host to Southland Conference opponent Oral Roberts.

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