New year, new conference

Photo courtesy of Brisenia Flores

With the start of a new school year for Sam Houston State University, a new challenge is presented for the athletics department as they enter a new era. Effective July 1, the Bearkats officially became members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

In the first month of being part of their new conference, Sam Houston has been off to a hot start across the board. So, how have they done in their first month of play?

The first program to begin their new life in the WAC was the Bearkats soccer team. Although they are 2-4, they have had shining moments in their wins.

In their overtime victory against the Grambling State Tigers, sophomore forward Landri Townsend shined in the team’s third game of the season in a 2-1 thriller.

Townsend scored both of the teams’ goals, one coming off of a rebound from sophomore defender Katarina Baehren to even the game at one in the 82nd minute. In overtime, Townsend scored after a long throw-in by senior midfielder Grace Stine to give the Bearkats their first win of the season.

The Bearkats would win their next game against old conference competition, McNeese State University. They would win 1-0 thanks to a goal by sophomore forward Alexis Truitt. This was Truitt’s first goal as a Bearkat as she transferred from Seminole State College this past summer.

The Bearkats soccer team continues their non-conference play on Sept. 19 as they will take on the University of Houston.

The Bearkats volleyball team is off to one of the hottest in school history to begin their WAC career. Sam Houston is currently 6-1 after two separate tournaments.

Sam Houston began their season with the Bearkat Invitational, which was hosted from conference competition Houston Baptist University and San Diego State University. The Bearkats went undefeated in the tournament, going 4-0 over the two-day excursion.

The Bearkats swept the floor Friday as they defeated both teams 3-0 to begin their season. They would go on to play two much tighter matches the following day as each team took them to five sets. The Bearkats, however, prevailed winning each game 3-2. Sophomore setter Morgan Janda took home the MVP of the tournament after her two-day performance. Senior outside hitter Ashley Lewis and junior outside hitter Breanne Chausse were also named to the all-tournament team.

Sam Houston would then finish 2-1 in the Maverick classic. All three games would go five sets, with the Bearkats coming away with victories against the University of Tulsa as well as the University of Texas at Arlington, with their only loss of the season coming against the University of North Texas.

Their next competition will take place in Houston in the Adidas Invitational II against Louisiana State University and Rice University.

The national championship football team began their season in dominating fashion, defeating the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks 42-16.

Junior quarterback Eric Schmid had a solid day in the opening game throwing for 275 yards to go along with three touchdowns to only one interception. The running game took over as the Bearkats ran for 289 yards on the day lead by junior running back Ramon Jefferson with his 143 yards on only 11 carries. His longest run of the day went for 45 yards with a touchdown to go along with the yardage.

The defense showed why they were such a dominating force from a year ago as they only allowed 16 points. With that, the defense forced two interceptions and two sacks. One of the interceptions was by junior linebacker Trevor Williams, which he ran back for a 75-yard touchdown.

The Bearkats play their home opener on Sept. 11 against the Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks.

Women’s Golf
The Bearkats women’s golf team picked up right where they left off, winning their first tournament of the season in crushing fashion.

Sam Houston won outright, shooting an 833 over three days, which ended them 31 under par. Sophomore Zulaikah Nasser won the individual title while also adding her name to the record book thanks to her shooting a 201 on a 54-hole competition.

The Bearkats also broke on day two of the competition, by shooting 14-under on the day shooting a total of 274, shattering the previous record of 283.

The team finished with three players in the top 10, taking home first and second place for individual play. The Bearkats will compete again Sept. 20-21 in the Marilyn Smith Sunflower Invitation in Manhattan, Kansas at the Colbert Hills Golf Club.

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