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Men have strong outing at Hoosier Classic

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Huntington University bowling teams finished the regular season this weekend at the Hoosier Classic at Western Bowl, the largest collegiate tournament of the year, in Indianapolis.

The Forester men finished 47th out of 77 teams. The tourney format included six regular team games on Saturday and three regular team games on Sunday. Huntington was ranked 74th going into the Hoosier with only the top 80 teams being invited to the USBC Collegiate Sectionals in March.

Needing a good showing over the weekend and bowling on a tough 44 foot flat oil pattern, the Foresters rolled games of 777-878-793-924-970-877 for a six-game total of 5,209. They found themselves in 57th place after Saturday’s bowling with the hope to bowl better on Sunday and make a jump up in the standings to earn a sectional invitation.

Sunday, on a more difficult shorter 38 foot flat pattern, HU rolled games of 919-943-888 for a total tournament score of 7,959. Their score on the short pattern jumped Coach Bischoff’s crew ten spots to their final finish of 47th and greatly increased their chance of being invited to sectionals.  

High games for the men included Joe Miller (211-201-231-267), Seth Walker (215-208), Connor Brown (190-200), James Knapp (196-220-223) and Derek Beckler (195-203). In the ninth and final game Joe Miller provided the spark his team needed by bowling strikes in the first nine frames to finish with a 267 game.

In individual play, total pins determine standings. Walker had a nine game average of 182.1 to finish 109th out of 536 bowlers. Others not bowling nine games were Joe Miller with 197.4 (7 games), Beckler with 177.7 (6 games), Knapp with 188.8 (5 games), Brown with 173.8 (5 games), Daniel Miller with 156.8 (5 games) and Harris-Shoemaker and Neely each averaging 159.2 (5 games). In the finals, Robert Morris Illinois defeated Wisconsin Whitewater for the tournament title.

The 14th-ranked HU women’s team had an up and down weekend, possibly the most inconsistent and lowest scoring outing of the year. It featured good games and low games with not much in between. The Forester team of Shelby New, Ayla Yeiter, Brooke Ewing, Emerald Leong, Rachel Vogler and Emily O’Leary struggled to find consistency all weekend finishing 32nd out of 67 teams.

On Saturday’s 42’ flat pattern, HU rolled team games of 917-799-948 to slip into 20th place early on. However, their last three games on Saturday of 800-822-817 gave them a total of 5,103 and dropped them back to 37th heading into Sunday.

On Sunday’s 38 foot flat pattern, they again had highs and lows, going 829-1012-781 to finish with 7,725 pins for their 32nd place finish. High games for the ladies were New (196-212-215-205-216-202), Vogler (221), Leong (218), Yeiter (200-230) and Ewing (207).

In individual action, New paced Huntington with a 193.4 average for nine games to finish 21st out of 438 bowlers. Yeiter averaged 181.9 for nine games and finished 57th while Ewing was 169th with a 158.2 average. Others not bowling nine games were Vogler with 166.5 (6 games), Leong with 165.6 (6 games) and O’Leary with 153 (5 games). 

In an exciting finish, Wichita State won the women’s title over Newman based on total pins in the final match. With the championship match tied at three games each, the Newman anchor bowler needed only to pick up a 10 pin on the final ball of the 10th frame to win. Instead, she missed the 10 pin to tie the final game at 162 so Wichita won the tournament based on total pin fall in the final match.

This week the invitations to the USBC Collegiate Sectionals will be sent. The top 64 women’s and top 80 men’s teams will qualify for sectionals based on the final rankings on USBC sectionals are March 13-15 in one of four locations. Within the next two weeks, invitations to the NAIA Nationals will also be sent out. The top 20 men’s and women’s teams will be invited to the NAIA Nationals in Arlington, IL, March 27-29.

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.