The Sam Houston State bowling team is determined to continue their dominance in the lanes at the Hawk Flight Invite hosted by Monmouth University in Egg Harbor, NJ this weekend.
16 teams from across the country will be competing in the tournament such as Vanderbilt, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Franklin Pierce and Delaware State, all of which are ranked amongst the top 20 teams in the NCAA.
While the Bearkats will be up against a strong field of competitors, head coach Brad Hagen feels the biggest competition will be themselves.
“Our biggest opponent will be ourselves,” Hagen said. “We have to execute and perform at the level we know we can preform, but if we can manage the emotions and take care of making the shot that we need to make then we will be ok.”
The Bearkats are currently No. 4 in both the NCAA ranking and the National Tenpin Coaches Association poll. SHSU was ranked No. 2 at the start of the year, but dropped two spots after finishing sixth at the Prairie View A&M Invitational in January.
“We are still very high up there,” Hagen said. “Whether we are number one or number eight, we still get to compete in championships. As long as we are at least at number eight we’ll be ok.”
On Feb. 10-12 the Bearkats competed in the Stormin Ladyjack Classic hosted by Stephen F. Austin in Houston, Texas where SHUS finished in third place. The Bearkats closed day one in sixth place with a 2-3 record, but bounced back by the end of day two 4-1. On day three, the Kats won all three matches and closed the weekend at 9-4.
The Bearkats are entering the Hawk Flight Invite with the highest win percentage of the 16 teams with 74 percent. Hagen hopes to continue that momentum this weekend and come back to Huntsville with more wins under their belt.
“The main goal for this tournament is to try and get double digit wins,” Hagen said. “We try to win everything but the wins around this time of the year are more important because of the [SLC] championship.”
The Hawk Flight Invite will be held at the King Pin Lanes in Egg Harbor, NJ from March 3-5.