Bowling Makes 9th NCAA Appearance
The Arkansas State women’s bowling squad, ranked second in the nation, was among the eight teams selected Wednesday afternoon to compete at this year’s NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship April 14-16 at Brunswick Zone Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, N.J. “Obviously any time you have a chance to compete for a national championship, it’s an honor,” A-State head women’s bowling coach Justin Kostick said. “There’s only eight teams that make it so it’s always a nice feeling. I feel like we are pretty confident coming into it since we won two in a row, but not just because we won, but because of how we won. We were very balanced and came back in a couple of the games.” Joining the Red Wolves in the field of eight teams vying for the national championship are defending national champion Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Sam Houston State, last year’s national runner-up Stephen F. Austin, McKendree, Central Missouri, and North Carolina A&T. The Red Wolves currently sport a record of 80-31 and were ranked second in the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association Poll. It’s the fifth time in school history the team has had 80 or more wins, with four of the five coming under Kostick’s watch. Competition begins Thursday, April 14 with qualifying rounds in which each team bowls one five-person regular team game against each of the other seven participating teams. Teams will be seeded for bracket play based on their win-loss record during the qualifying rounds. At the conclusion of the qualifying rounds, teams will then compete in best-of-seven Baker matches in the double elimination tournament beginning Friday, April 15. In the Baker format, each of the five team members, in order, bowls a complete frame until a complete (10-frame) game is bowled. A Baker match tied at 3½ a piece after seven games will be decided by a tiebreaker using the Modified Baker format. The Northeast Conference will host the championship and tickets can be purchased on www.NCAA.com prior to the championship. The championship final will air on ESPNU Saturday, April 16 at 5:30 p.m. (CT), while a tape delay broadcast of the championship final will air on ESPN Sunday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. (CT). Most recently, A-State won the 2016 Southland Bowling League Championship March 26. Arkansas State defeated Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin to open the event before falling to Sam Houston State. The team ousted Vanderbilt to set up a rematch with the Bearkats and swept SHSU to claim the championship. Jordan Richard was named the Most Valuable Bowler at the SBL championships, while Jadee Scott-Jones and Brooke Wood were selected to the all-tournament squad. Prior to the Southland Bowling League championship, the Red Wolves claimed their first three-day tournament championship in two years at the Music City Classic in Smyrna, Tenn., March 18-20. The squad went 11-4 and defeated McKendree 4-1 in the championship match.
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