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Sports Update for Sept. 15


Sam Houston State hosts Mississippi Valley State on "Parents' Weekend" at Huntsville's Bowers Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. The Bearkats are 15-3 on "Parents' Weekend" games.

Both Sam Houston State and Mississippi Valley State are looking for their second victory of the 2002 season. Both team's victories have come over NCAA Division II opponents. The Delta Devils broke a 13-game losing streak and Head Coach Willie Totten picked up his first collegiate victory last Saturday as MSVU defeated Delta State 28-26. On Sept. 7, Sam Houston State opened at home with a 26-23 victory over Midwestern State. The Kats and the Devils are meeting for only the second time in their football histories. Sam Houston defeated Mississippi Valley State 68-13 in Itta Bena last year.

Sam Houston State produced a 10-3 record in 2001, earning its highest NCAA Division I-AA final national ranking (seventh). The Bearkats won their second Southland Conference title and qualified for the I-AA national playoffs for the third time since moving up to the I-AA level in 1986. Sam Houston reached the quarterfinals, falling to eventual national champion Montana.

Totten, who as a quarterback for the Delta Devils combined with teammate Jerry Rice to set 50 NCAA offensive records and roll up a 28-11-1 record, is back at his Alma Mater as head coach. The Devils have scored 58 points in their first two games. Quarterback Carey Weaver has completed 41 of 65 passes for 505 yards and five touchdowns. His top targets are O. J. Moore, who has caught 11 passes for 91 yards and a score, and William Smith, who has nine catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Weaver threw for 319 yards and three tallies in the victory over Delta State.

Sam Houston State fell to Northern Arizona in Flagstaff Saturday 40-14. Quarterback Travis Tobaben came off the bench to lead two fourth quarter scoring drives to keep alive the Bearkat offense's 24-game streak of scoring in double digits. Defensive end Michael Saumell-Baston had a hand in three of the Kats' four quarterback sacks.


Carrie Sartain earned All-Tournament honors for the third consecutive week as the Bearkats dropped three hard-fought matches at the Texas A&M Aggie Classic in College Station, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14.

The Bearkats fell to 16th ranked Texas A&M 30-24 27-30 30-21 30-25 Friday night. Sartain led Sam Houston with 20 kills.

Brigham Young University, also ranked in the nation's top 30, defeated Sam Houston 31-29 30-17 30-20 Saturday night. Again, Sartain was the offensive leader with 12 kills.

Louisiana-Lafayette defeated the Bearkats 30-24 30-26 28-30 30-17 in the final match of the tournament with Sartain making 14 kills and Dana Jefferson adding ten.

Despite falling in the tournament, Head Coach Brenda Gray was pleased with the performance her team put on the floor.

"To go out there and play in front of that many people and not lose our composure was great," Gray said. "We won't face anybody for the rest of the year withas many weapons as Texas A&M and BYU. We can take advantage of it and put a feather in our hat."

Texas A&M won the tournament, defeating BYU in four games in the tournament finals Saturday night.

Joining Sartain on the all-tournament team were Priscilla Lima of LA-Lafayette, Karina Puikkonen and Carrie Bowers of BYU, and Melissa Munsch, Lexy Beers, and Laura Jones of Texas A&M.

Sartain also received All-Tournament honors in the Bearkats's first two events of the 2002 season - the Sam Houston State Classic and the Hartford (CT) Invitational.

The three losses dropped Sam Houston State to 6-5 for the season. The Bearkats open Southland Conference play Tuesday night, Sept. 17, playing Stephen F. Austin State in Nacogdoches at 7 p.m.


Led by Raul Villarreal, Joe Amburn, and Vance Bridges, who all three finished among the top ten individual runners, the Sam Houston State men's cross country team won the 28th annual Rice Invitational Meet in Houston, TX, Saturday, Sept. 14.

Villarreal placed fourth, Amburn sixth, and Bridges ninth. The Bearkats won the team title with Baylor finishing as runner-up, Rice third, Texas A&M fourth, and Lamar fifth.

The Sam Houston State women placed fourth. Gaby Mendoza led the Bearkat women with a 15th place individual finish.

"The men ran much, much better. This is how I thought we could run and how good we could be," said Head Coach Greg Hinze. "I'm extremely pleased with this result, but we still have to get better and we need some people to step it up a little. However, I think this group has a chance to do some really good things before the season is over as long as we stay healthy, hungry and humble.

"The women are making progress as well. We have five freshmen in our top seven and they're making freshmen mistakes. They're not the same mistakes every race, but mistakes nonetheless. However, even though we went out a little too aggressively this time and paid for it, we didn't completely fall apart so that is a good sign. We'll be solid by the time conference rolls around."

Sam Houston State's next action will be Friday, Sept. 20, when the Bearkats host their only home cross country meet of the 2002 season. The Sam Houston State Cross Country Invitational will be held at Kate Barr Ross Park with the women to run Friday at 6 p.m. and the men's race to start at 6:30 p.m.

"This is shaping up to be a quality event," said Coach Hinze. "We're expecting over 2,000 high school runners on Saturday and the college meet is attracting top teams as well. This is the first time we have had a college meet here at home in many years. With it being Parent's Weekend, I would like to personally invite as many people as possible to come watch the Bearkats in action on Friday evening. Stephen F. Austin is the defending men's conference champion so this will give us an early barometer to see where we stand. It would sure help us if we had a lot of enthusiastic supporters cheering us on."

As of now, teams scheduled to compete in the college section include: SAM HOUSTON STATE, Houston, Rice (women), Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M, Texas-Arlington, TCU and A&M-Corpus Christi.


Led by David Ward and Shaunn Goodwin, who both finished among the top 10 individual medalists, the Sam Houston State men's golf team finished as the runner-up in the Cellular One Raising Cane Classic hosted by Southern Mississippi University Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 9-10.

Host Southern Mississippi won the event with a team total of 287-282-279--848. Michael Soroka of USM was the individual medalist champion with a score of 71-67-72--210.

The Bearkats were runners-up with a team total of 288-283-297--868. Ward placed sixth individually with a 54-hole score of 72-69-72--213. Goodwin was eighth with a score of 71-72-71--214.

The tournament was the first for the Sam Houston State men's golf team this fall. Next action for the Bearkats will be the University of North Texas Mean Green Classic Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 16-17 at the Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound, TX.


Rain shortened the Sam Houston State Invitational Women's Tennis Tournament this weekend in the first action of the 2002 fall season for the Bearkats, but Head Coach Michael Hunt had to be pleased with the performance of his team.

Highlight of the tournament was an upset win by freshman Tara Shelander in the Flight A Singles as she defeated the number one seed Sandra Wolfe of Stephen F. Austin State 6-4 6-3 in the first round. Four other Bearkat players -- Fatima-Zahra Benhoubker, Erika Rudich, Jennifer Pechal, and Shaneen Ludwig -- reached the quarterfinals of their respective singles flights.

In doubles, the Bearkats won five of their six matches.

- END -

Media Contact: Paul Ridings
Sept. 15, 2002
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