Call them ‘Miss Bowlin’ On’

The YSU bowling team celebrates after watching the NCAA Selection Show. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

By Madeline Hippeard / The Jambar

After fighting off elimination twice, the Youngstown State University bowling team finished runner-up at the Conference USA Championship from March 22 to 24.

The Conference USA Championship is a double-elimination tournament that follows the mega match format, where teams bowl standard and Baker style matches for total pinfall. This is the first time this season the Penguins have competed in the mega match format

The Penguins started the tournament with a 1-1 record on Day One, with a win over Sam Houston State University. The ’Guins fell short to Arkansas State University.

During the traditional portion of the match against the Bearkats, Youngstown State threw five strikes in a row. Senior Kristen Moore threw three in the final frame of the match, followed by senior Madyson Marx with two, finishing with a score of 985-914.

Moore said she believes the team enjoyed the change in tournament structure.

“The kind of bowling we do at conferences and those kinds of matches are very different. There’s a lot more effort involved because you’re essentially bowling two matches in one,” Moore said. “It’s definitely a fun environment, getting to bowl extra and try to get that extra advantage over other teams.”

Youngstown State also won the Baker portion of the match with a score of 1,030-1,011.

The Red Wolves defeated the Penguins with a score of 962-940 in the traditional portion and 1,096-1,010 in the Baker.

In Day Two of the tournament, the ’Guins once again faced Sam Houston.

Both rounds of the match were tight, with the Penguins securing an 11-point victory in the traditional round with a score of 937-926 and 1-point victory in the Baker round with a score of 869-868.

The ’Guins won the traditional round of their match against Louisiana Tech University, 982-908.

The Lady Techsters fought back, winning the Baker round, 1,023-926, and sending the match into a best of seven Baker format round, which the Penguins won, 4-1.

Head coach Doug Kuberski credits the team’s success at the Conference USA Championship and the overall season to its togetherness.

“We’re all really enjoying each other’s company on and off the lanes. We’re enjoying the competition. Even in some of the tough moments over the past weekend and some of the big moments where the pressure was highest, you can feel the calmness,” Kuberski said. “You can feel the togetherness and the love we all have for each other.”

At the start of Day Three of the Conference USA Championship, the Penguins faced Arkansas State again.

Youngstown State won the traditional round of the match, 1,034-962, and the Baker match, 1,089-975.

The Penguins then faced Jacksonville State University in the championship round of the tournament.

Jacksonville State led over the ’Guins throughout the traditional round, ending with a score of 1,081-981.

The Gamecocks continued to overpower the ’Guins, defeating them in the Baker round, 1186-1,112.

Heading into the NCAA Regionals, YSU received an at-large bid as the No. 3 seeded team. The Penguins will continue their postseason journey April 5 in the NCAA Regional tournament against Marian University Indianapolis.

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