By Kyle Wills
The Youngstown State University bowling team picked up impressive wins in their fifth-place finish this past weekend at the Prairie View A&M University Invitational in Dallas.
The Penguins lost 957-940 to Tulane to open the tournament, and they dropped a 1,029-888 match to Nebraska. YSU got its first win with a 990-930 victory over seventh-ranked Stephen F. Austin, and the Penguins followed up with a one-pin, 968-967 victory over McKendree. YSU then had an 849 in its win over PVAMU.
Head coach Doug Kuberski believes the win over Austin turned around the women’s weekend following their slow start.
“We were 0-2 after the first two matches and we were down 68 pins after three games in the third match to Stephen F. Austin and something just clicked with the ladies,” he said. “Their energy rose up. They shot 240 that fourth game to pull out that match and got some good momentum.”
Behind a runner-up performance from sophomore Megan Grams, the YSU bowling team earned four wins and rose up to third place in the team standings on Saturday.
The women beat Texas Southern in back-to-back matches to start the day, 967-768 and 925-802. The Penguins registered a 1,002 to beat Louisiana Tech 1,002-977. They then beat Sam Houston State 989-857, and lost their final match 1,058-928 to Arkansas State.
Grams bowled the two best games of her career Saturday with 248 against Texas Southern in game one and 258 against Arkansas State in game five. The 258 is tied for the third-highest game in program history, and her 1,075 total is the 10th-highest pinfall by a Penguin for a five-game tournament. She averaged a 215 to place second.
Grams was named to the all-tournament team, and she also received the award for highest game. Coach Kuberski expected a stellar performance from Grams following the last tournament.
“I’ve been really impressed with Megan’s development as a player, both on and off the lanes,” Kuberski said. “It really started the week before [at the Columbia 300 Saints Invite]. She had a really good weekend, a really good Sunday for us. I had a feeling she was going to perform well this weekend. She’s put [in] a lot of work the last year and a half, two years on her game and has really bought into the culture and added to our culture.”
Due to their outstanding performance on Saturday the Penguins were able to go into Sunday with the third seed for bracket play. They would open the day with losses to Sam Houston State (4-0) and Nebraska (4-2) before their win over Tulane. Trailing Tulane 3-2, the women bowled a 243 in game six on their way to a seven-game victory, winning the match 4-3.
YSU bowling will have the next week off before returning to competition Feb. 12. where the Penguins will bowl at the James Brown Invitational in Baltimore at Morgan State University.