The Sam Houston State University Bearkats bowling team fell short in the Southland Bowling League Championship last Saturday. The team was knocked out in the first match of the elimination bracket Saturday as they fell to the No. 8 seed Monmouth.
The Bearkats entered that tournament as the No. 3 seed and faced the No. 6 Valpo Crusaders in their first match, which SHSU lost 869-832.
“We need to mentally be stronger, especially out of the gate,” head coach Brad Hagen said. “No one in our conference can be taken lightly, and we need to step up and do our jobs.”
SHSU made a turn around in their next match against Valpo as they won 959-782 to force a best of seven series. The Bearkats swept the Crusaders 4-0 and moved on to face the No. 2 seeded Vanderbilt Commodores in the second round. Vanderbilt then swept the Bearkats 2-0 and forced the Bearkats into the elimination bracket, matching up against Monmouth.
Before that match took place, Hagen felt that if the team kept their composure they had a chance to make a bid for the NCAA championship.
“If we can control the emotions and stay present we have a chance to climb the ladder,” Hagen said. “For the first time an automatic qualifying spot is on the line, so there is a lot still to play for here.”
Opening Saturday morning by losing their first match to Monmouth, the Kats responded with a win 1,010-897. That then forced a best of seven match in which Monmouth won the first two games. SHSU took the next three straight but lost in game six to make it 4-3.
The Kats will now have to wait and see if their season will continue as they find out Wednesday if they are one of the 10 teams picked to play in the NCAA championship. There are four spots in addition to the six automatic qualifiers. The selection will stream live Wednesday morning on NCAA.com.
Should the women’s season in fact be over, they will have concluded the Spring Season with six tournaments independent of the SLBC. They finished in the top five four times in those six contest, with their last first place finish coming last November at the UMES Hawk Classic in Deleware.