It was a perfect start to the season for the Sam Houston bowling team. The Kats opened the year with a championship at the Sugar Bowl Invitational hosted by Tulane. 


The Kats knocked off No. 1 Vanderbilt twice on Sunday to claim the season-opening championship. The victory for the Bearkats is their fifth Sugar Bowl title.


“This was a huge opening weekend for us,” said head coach Brad Hagen. “This is the first time in program history with have recorded three wins against the No. 1 team in the country in one weekend.”


After a win in the opening match of the day against the Commodores, Vandy earned its way back into the finals for a rematch against the Bearkats. SHSU quickly found itself in a hole, dropping the first two games of the best-of-seven championship match. The Kats responded. They won the next four game by an average of 32.5 pins to claim the title.


“I was really proud of the way the girls kept their composure after getting down by two games,” Hagen said. “It’s easy to just fold it up at that point, but they came right back and won the next two. At that point I think we were just bowling with a lot of confidence.”


The Bearkats entered the day as the No. 1 overall seed in the championship bracket after posting an 8-2 record the first two days of the tournament, including wins over No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 3 SFA and No. 13 Lincoln Memorial.