Bearkat Bowling Wins, Hopes to Roll for Another Successful Season

The Sam Houston State bowling team is starting the season off on the right foot after taking first place at the historic Mid-State Intercollegiate Tournament at Wichita State over the weekend.

At the 16 team exhibition event, the Bearkats were down 2-1 against West Texas A&M in a best of five, but bounced back to win the last two games against the Buffalos. The team then proceeded to sweep both Lindenwood and Newman University to take first place.

“I’m very happy with our performance,” head coach Brad Hagen said. “ Its something we need to build off, but not get to complacent about because we did so well so early.”

The Bearkats went into the season ranked six in the nation in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Poll, and while Hagen is complacent, he believes the team is better.

“By no means do I think we are number one or two,” Hagen said. “ But I believe we are better than six, and at the end of the day, we just need to be in that top eight. That opinion poll doesn’t play any factor into the end of the year results.”

Last weekend’s success is not the only glory the team has experienced. Since the start of the bowling program six years ago, the Bearkats have been ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation in every NTCA poll. In five of those seasons, the team has competed in the NCAA National Championships and won the national title in 2014.

In the same NTCA poll, the Bearkats were one of the top three teams with a superb overall grade point average in the NCAA Division I. The team is ranked third nationally with a GPA of 3.62, and has been granted such an honor for the past four seasons.

Last season, the team was ranked in the top five of all women’s bowling statistical categories, per statistics released by the NCAA. The Bearkats were first in the nation when it comes to pin fall total in baker matches with 200.6, fourth with a traditional match average of 197.8 and fifth in bracket match play pin totals with a 198.8 average.

To add, the Bearkats also posted the second highest dual match winning total in the country last season and tied a school record with 102 wins.

On Thursday, the Bearkats will be opening the season in Orlando, Florida at the Wildcat Invitational where they will be competing against 16 schools.

“This weekend in Orlando is a very strong field,” Hagen said. “Wichita was good and set the bar for us, but this weekend is really going to dictate where we stand in the season.”

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