By Andrew Peterson
The Youngstown State University bowling team finished its regular season March 25. The team was rewarded for its strong season March 29, when it was picked to be in the NCAA Bowling Lansing Regional Bowling Championship Regional round.
The bowling team received the honor after toppling Valparaiso University and the top-seeded Vanderbilt University at the Southland Bowling League Championship on March 25.
This marks its third straight selection for the tournament.
Kuberski said his expectations for the team have not changed from regular season competition.
“We’re just going to keep it simple and treat it like we do any other event,” Kuberski said. “Everything matters, every shot matters and we’re not going to make it any bigger than it is.”
Kuberski also explained how the team was able to fight off elimination.
“Just our experience, our ladies had just had a lot of experience these past few years in these types of matches and in their lives too. So, they’re just really tough, they’re tough out there,” Kuberski said.
The bowling team took on Maryville University and Vanderbilt in the NCAA Lansing Regional on April 7.
In the first match against Maryville, Youngstown State was victorious 2-0.
Sophomore Jade Cote, junior Madyson Mark, senior Megan Grams, freshman Hope Bun and junior Kirsten Moore all reached the 210 mark or higher.
Game four saw Maryville score 269 to jump out to a 22-point advantage, the highest game of the match.
In Baker matches, the Penguins had a 32-pin advantage after winning game one 234-202, and they had a 30-pin advantage after three games. In game five, two players strung together four strikes and landed a score of 257.
In match two against top-seeded Vanderbilt, the Penguins lost, 2-0. Vanderbilt was hot the whole match as it averaged a score of 200.4 pins.
Cote had a team-high 227 in the final nine frames after stringing five strikes together. Although Vanderbilt held a 62-pin advantage, the Penguins had the advantage in three positions of the lineup.
Youngstown State finished first in three of the five Baker matches. Vanderbilt won the third and fourth games by a combined score of 110 pins. After the first two games, Youngstown State led 425 to 400, but in the third game, Vanderbilt strung along 11 strikes to win.
Sophomore Lyndsay Ennis explained how the team kept its composure during the matches.
“I think we did an excellent job staying within our own,” Ennis said. “We do the best that we can.”
On April 8, the team won two games to set up a rematch against top-seeded Vanderbilt in a winner-take-all game.
In their first game against Maryville, the Penguins defeated the Saints by 143 pins. Marx had the best game of any bowler with a 255 at the anchor spot.
In the Baker match, Youngstown State gained an early lead of 57 pins with games of 212 and 234. The Penguins led by 23 pins going into the fifth game.
The team won the first game of the best-of-seven tiebreaker 247-177, then Maryville went on to win the next two games.
“They had a heck of a performance all weekend and the whole weekend I’ve been proud,” Kuberski said.
In its second match of the day, Youngstown State beat Vanderbilt. Marx scored the highest with 248.
In its third match of the day, Youngstown State lost to the Commodores 4-0. Strikes became difficult to earn as the match progressed. The Commodores had their largest margin in game two, leading by 54 pins.
Youngstown State ends the season with a record-breaking 83 victories and a .659 winning percentage, both program highs. The Penguins had their second-best performance in the seven seasons of the program when they tied for fifth place in the national competition.
To keep up with the bowling team and its offseason, visit ysusports.com