INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In what has become one of the largest Tier II tournaments in the country this year, the Forester women’s bowling team went head-to-head against some of the best teams in the nation to finish 3rd out of 26 varsity teams at the Western Shootout this weekend.
The tournament was a two-day event with six regular team games bowled on a heavy 43’ pattern on Saturday and 16 Baker games bowled on a tough 40’ pattern on Sunday.
After the regular team games and 12 of the 16 Baker games on Sunday, HU made a great run to climb into a tie for the lead with the 2014 National Collegiate Champion Robert Morris (IL) and take a slim lead ahead of national powerhouse and 2014 national finalist Notre Dame College.
Bowling on a pair of lanes beside Robert Morris, the final four Baker games were an intense battle as the Foresters bowled even with the Eagles through the first two Baker games before RMU pulled away to claim the title with 8,216 pins.
Once all was said and done, Notre Dame had snuck ahead of HU by three pins to steal second with 8,140 pints while Huntington finished with 8,137 pins to finish third. Saint Francis (PA) led most of the tournament before settling for fourth with 8,125 pins.
Things didn’t start out so well on Saturday for HU as they bowled games of 835 and 798 to slide into 12th. The next four games, however, proved to be a different story. Huntington rolled games of 880-990-903-967 for a 5,373 total to move into 4th behind Saint Francis (5,457), Robert Morris (5,433) and Calumet College of St. Joseph (5,376).
On Sunday, the Foresters rolled Baker games of 156-177-188-168-146-193-198-169-166-218-145-160-159-191-166-164 to finish with their 8,137 total. High games for HU included Brooke Ewing (215-206), Shelby New (203-202), Ayla Yeiter (223-214), Rachel Vogler (221) and Emily O’Leary (202).
“I’m so proud of each of these ladies,” said Coach Jim Bischoff. “They really became a team this weekend and they are beginning to learn what they are capable of and who they can compete with.
“Their hard work both days, working with and supporting each other every frame, and never quit attitude helped propel them to the best weekend and finish yet in a tournament in three years of Lady Forester bowling.”
Leading the way was Brooke Ewing. Ewing finished 4th out of over 200 bowlers with a six-game score of 1,153 (192.1 average) and for her efforts was named to the All-Tournament Team. As a member of the All-Tourney Team, the Rochester native received a medal and certificate from tournament sponsor Storm Bowling for a bowling ball of her choice.
Joining her on the All-Tournament team were first place Brittany Ferrara of Notre Dame College (1175), Chelsea Stephens of Campbellsville University (1173), Brittany Poling of Bowling Green State University (1154) and Stephanie Cieslewicz of Robert Morris (1152).
Other Forester finishes included Shelby New (10th, 1122 total/187 average) Ayla Yeiter (31st, 1073 total/178.8 average), Emily O’Leary (46th, 1021 total/170.1 average) and Rachel Vogler (54th, 1004 total/167.3 average).
Coach Bischoff went on to praise his team’s effort. “Everyone had great individual efforts and Brook did such a great job all day Saturday and deserved making the All-Tournament Team.”
In men’s action, the Forester team of Daniel Miller, Joe Miller, Connor Brown, Tyler Neff, Seth Walker and Derek Beckler finished 14th out of 32 varsity teams.
On Saturday in the regular team games on the long pattern, the men had some ups and downs with games of 866-1004-855-785 but finished strong with games of 924-948 to finish 13th with a score of 5,383 going into Sunday’s 16 Baker games.
Playing on the 40’ pattern on Sunday, HU had to work and grind through the first two four-game blocks of Baker games rolling 130-202-148-142-194-116-159-172. They regrouped and fought through to finish the day strong with 170-222-151-200-190-165-199-217 for a grand total of 8,160 pins for the tournament.
Their score of 771 in games 13-16 was the third highest Baker set rolled out of the 44 total teams in the final block on what had become very difficult lane conditions. High games for the Huntington were Daniel Miller (234-207-223), Seth Walker (215-226-207) and Joe Miller (213-220).
In JV action, the Forester men’s team of Jake Neely, Adam Harris-Shoemaker, Emilio Chantaca, Jess Meyers and James Knapp finished 7th out of 13 JV teams and 25th overall, with a score of 7,835. High games included Adam Harris-Shoemaker (202), Jess Meyers (200-212), Emilio Chantaca (206-206) and Jake Neely (211). Morehead State won the men’s JV division with a score of 8,667.
The HU women’s JV team of Lauren Smart, Ciara Lovell, Julia Walton, Casandra Griffith and Reba Morehouse finished 9th out of 10 JV teams and 33rd overall with a score of 6,511. High games included Casandra Griffith (205-209-194), Lauren Smart (191), Reba Morehouse (176) and Ciara Lovell (164). Griffith also placed 15th overall with a 1,102 total/183.6 average.
Huntington has a week off before traveling to Lafayette on October 25-26 for the Tier II Boilermaker Classic. A week later they will travel to Marietta, GA, for the Tier I Brunswick Southern Classic on November 1-2.
The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 222 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.