A strong start to the season has vaulted the Sam Houston bowling team in the latest top 25 poll. The latest NTCA poll has the Kats up four spots to No. 2 in the country.

The Kats won four of their five events this fall, including three that count toward NCAA standings and have an overall record of 41-10. The No. 2 ranking is the highest for the program since winning the national title in 2014 and highest ever to close out the first half of the year.

"I'm happy with how we ended the first half and where our record is at this point,” said head coach Brad Hagen. “It's been a historic first half once again for us but we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of tournaments still a head of us.  Time to recharge the batteries, get back to the drawing board, and start preparing for the second half."

Arkansas State is tops in the poll, receiving 28 of 36 first place votes. The Kats received the other 8 first place votes. Previously No. 1 Nebraska is third, McKendree University fourth and SFA rounds out the top five.

The Kats opened the year with a preseason win at Wichita State. They then took top honors at the Wildcat Invitational to start the season. They also included wins at the Track Kat Klash in Houston and closed the first half with a victory in the UMES Hawk Classic.

The Bearkats will open the second half of the season on Jan. 27 in the Prairie View Invitational at the ITRC in Arlington. The Southland Conference championship is March 26-27 in Jonesboro, Ark. and the NCAA Championship is April 13-15 in Baton Rouge, La.