Gobearkats.com is reporting that the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced their list of teams to earn the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 academic year on Monday, with the Sam Houston Bearkats among that group. Coach Breanda Gray’s team was one of a record 1,275 teams from across the nation, breaking the mark set in 2018-19. It marks the tenth consecutive time the Kats have earned the honor. The Kats were one of a record 243 Division I teams to receive the award and did so after a spring that saw them go 11-3 to finish second in the Southland Conference and runner-up in the Southland Tournament.
In another story appearing online at Gobearkats.com, Sam Houston head tennis coach Rob Hubbard has announced the addition of incoming freshman Megan Basson to the roster for the 2021-22 season. The Bearkats are coming off the best season in school history that brought the program its first NCAA Division conference championship. Sam Houston went 10-1 in Southland Conference play and finished the season with a 15-4 overall mark. Basson at one time was the No. 1 ranked junior in South Africa and won the South African Under 14 and Under 16 national championships.
The inaugural season of sports in the WAC for the Bearkats will be getting underway soon, as the Sam Houston soccer team released their schedule for the 2021 season on Thursday with seven matches set to be played in Huntsville, including five WAC matches to mark the Bearkats’ first season in the league. The Kats are coming off a season that saw them close out their time in the Southland Conference in style, advancing to the championship match of the Southland Tournament and finishing with a 7-6-1 record. Single-game tickets for Bearkat Soccer will be available near the beginning of the season and will be able to be purchased at GoBearkats.com or by calling the Bearkat Ticket Office.
As Sam Houston heads into its inaugural season in the WAC, Bearkat Volleyball head coach Brenda Gray announced the schedule for the upcoming 2021 season on Wednesday. With capacity set to return to 100 percent for the fall season, the Bearkats will host eight matches at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum year, fans are encouraged to check GoBearkats.com for season tickets as soon as they become available. Gray, who is entering her 38th season as Bearkat head coach, has the Kats set to open the season in a traditional way with 43rd Bearkat Invitational on August 27th and 28th which will feature a round-robin format, with San Diego State along with former Southland Conference rivals Houston Baptist and Central Arkansas coming to Huntsville.
Gobearkats.com is reporting that Sam Houston pitcher Kyle Backus became the third Bearkat taken into the MLB on Wednesday when he signed a free agent deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Backus joins teammates Colton Cowser and Jack Rogers in joining MLB clubs from this year’s team. With Cowser and Rogers’ selections in the MLB Draft, the Kats have had 66 all-time selections in the MLB Draft, including 25 since 2013. In all, he pitched 150.2 innings for the Kats in 71 appearances in his career with a 4.66 ERA, 11-8 record, 3 saves and 161 strikeouts.
Gobearkats.com is reporting that Sam Houston State men’s basketball coach Jason Hooten has announced the addition of Justin Bailey to his staff as an assistant coach for the upcoming season. Bailey spent the past two seasons an assistant coach for Pittsburg State and was promoted to associate head coach during the 2020-21 campaign. The Gorillas went 22-30 while he was on staff. Bailey was the head coach at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith during the 2018-19 season before joining Pittsburg State. He had previously served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Lamar for two seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18, helping the Cardinals to consecutive 19-win seasons and back-to-back appearances in the College Basketball Invitational (CIT).
Gobearkats.com is reporting that Sam Houston slugger Jack Rogers became the second Bearkat taken in the MLB Draft when he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth round with the 270th overall selection. His selection comes on the heels of a stellar 2021 season, where he joined with teammate Colton Cowser to give the Bearkats one of the top 1-2 punches in the nation in the middle of the lineup. The Spring native, finished the season ranked in the top five in the Southland in batting average (.367), hits (76), doubles (18), home runs (16), RBI (55), slugging percentage (.696) and on-base percentage (.474). His career numbers currently have him ranked third all-time at Sam Houston in both home runs (30) and doubles (50). The 16 homers in 2021 was tied with Cowser for the SLC and rank fourth in a single-season at SHSU.