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HU women mount impressive comeback to finish 19th at the Midwest Collegiate Classic

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ADDISON, Ill. - Despite a slow start on Saturday at the Tier I Kegel ISBPA Midwest Collegiate Classic event at Stardust Bowl over the weekend, the 11th-ranked Forester women’s bowling team roared back on Sunday to finish 19th out of 53 teams.

On Sunday, HU rolled the fifth highest 16-game Baker total of the 53 team field to ignite an impressive comeback that watch Coach Bischoff’s squad jump 14 spots to their eventual 19th place finish. The tournament format was six regular team games on Saturday and 16 Baker games on Sunday on the tough and sometimes humbling Kegel 41’ Turnpike pattern. 

Saturday turned out to be a tough day for HU, possibly the toughest this season, and one they had to grind through. Bowling in ‘A’ squad and starting at 7:30 a.m. each day, the team of Shelby New, Emily O’Leary, Ayla Yeiter, Ciara Lovell and Brooke Ewing struggled through games of 827-865-833-802 before rolling 900-901 the last two games to total 5,128 on Saturday. 

The total landed them in the 19th spot in their ‘A’ squad out of 29 teams and 33rd overall out of 53 teams for the tournament after day one.

Sunday morning, however, the Foresters turned things around. Determined to gain ground and get pins back, that’s exactly what they did. Huntington rolled Baker games of 166-162-192-214 and 150-193-192-200 for 734 and 736 their first two Baker sets. They then went 193-219-190-190 and 211-190-245-159 for 792 and 805 the last two sets for a 3,067 Baker total and tournament total 8,195.

Their 3,067 Baker total was the third highest Baker total on ‘A’ squad and fifth highest overall for the tournament. Their 15th Baker game of 245 was also the fifth highest Baker game bowled in the tournament. Sunday’s Baker average of 191.6 for the 16 games vaulted the ladies from 33rd on Saturday to a 19th place overall finish. Wichita State won the tournament with Lindenwood and Wright State finishing second and third respectively.

In individual action on Saturday, New paced HU with a six-game average of 200.8 to finish 15th out of 378 bowlers. Other finishes included Ewing (122nd, 172.7 average), O’Leary (125th, 170.7 average), Yeiter (145th, 165.8 average) and Lovell (205th, 144.7 average). High games included New (203, 213, 202, 216), O’Leary (213), Yeiter (196) and Ewing (204).

The men’s team struggled all weekend to finish 52nd out of 63 teams. The Foresters rolled regular team games on Saturday of 923-907-888-834-882-842 for a Saturday total of 5,276 that placed them 28th of 37 teams in their ‘A’ squad and 46th place overall going into Sunday’s Baker.

Sunday proved even more difficult as they never shot a set over 700, rolling four game Baker sets of 665-610-671-694 for Baker total of 2,640 and 7,916 for the tournament. Robert Morris won the men’s tournament with Wichita State second and Lindenwood third.

The 52nd place in this tournament makes a good showing at the final regular season and largest tournament in the country, the Tier I Hoosier Classic, and is important to qualifying for USBC Collegiate sectionals and NAIA Nationals in March. Teams qualifying for the post season will be named after the Hoosier Classic is completed and based on final season rankings.

In individual play on Saturday, Joe and Daniel Miller both rolled all six games with Joe averaging 188.5 to place 130th out of 465 bowlers. Daniel averaged 181 to finish 159th. Jake Neely and Seth Walker each rolled five games to average 179.4 and 171.2 respectively. Other finishes included Tyler Neff (four-game average of 167), Connor Brown (two-game average of 174.5) and Colin Madden (two-game average of 144.5).

Huntington has a three week break before ending their regular season on February 15-16 at the Tier I Hoosier Classic at Western Bowl in Indianapolis.

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.