By Madeline Hippeard
The Youngstown State University bowling team earned its first tournament title since 2019 after being named champion of the Destination Orlando: Sunshine State Classic on Oct. 29
The classic was a three-day tournament, which ran from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29.
Day One of the tournament, the Penguins averaged 206.7 pins per game and posted a total pinfall of 5,167 in five Baker matches against Duquesne University, Texas Southern University, Saint Francis University, Jacksonville State University and Alabama A&M University.
The team lost its first match against Duquesne University, 1,018-1,067. Despite a loss right off the bat, the ‘Guins went on to win their last four matches of the day.
The Penguins defeated Texas Southern University, 1,048-951, to get their first win.
Then, they defeated Saint Francis University, 1,031-959, and Jacksonville State University, 1,103-1,087.
The ‘Guins finished the day with a 967-871 victory against Alabama A&M.
Over the course of their games on Friday, the Penguins were the only team to top 960 pins in every match, ranking them third overall heading into Day Two.
On Saturday, the Penguins lost their first four matches to Stephen F. Austin State University, Vanderbilt University, Sacred Heart University and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Despite their losses, the ‘Guins defeated Florida A&M University, 1,106-963.
Senior Kristen Moore bowled a 1,052 set over five games, placing her as Youngstown State’s top finisher and 15th overall in individual standings.
Moore said the team remained hopeful that it could win the championship, despite hitting a rough patch on Day Two.
“Saturdays can be tough days. We had a pretty good day on Friday, Saturday started off kind of rough. But it’s in those moments that you need to really dig deep within yourself,” Moore said.
After the conclusion of Day Two, the Penguins totaled 10,148 pins over 10 qualifying matches, placing them fourth overall and sending them into the championship best of seven bracket on Sunday.
The ‘Guins began the championship bracket by defeating Vanderbilt, 4-3.
The team then defeated Stephen F. Austin, 4-3.
Finally, the Penguins defeated Jacksonville State in the championship match 4-0, earning them their third tournament title in program history.
Head coach Doug Kuberski said this championship was an important moment to the Penguins because of how long ago their last victory was.
“It was a great feeling. It’s been four years since we won a regular season event. We’ve had a bunch of second places, a bunch of close calls, and so to get the job done and the team so happy and thrilled with that was a pretty good moment,” Kuberski said.
Alongside earning a victory at The Classic, YSU’s junior Jade Cote was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
The ‘Guins will return to action Nov. 10 when they participate in the SFA Ladyjack Classic in Kenosha, Wisconsin. For more information and to follow along with the Penguin’s next tournament, visit ysusports.com.