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Braves Bowling Competes in Nationals

By Alaina Burris
On April 2, 2021

Photo courtesy: NAIA

 

With only two weekends off so far in the semester, due to having to fit a year’s worth of a season into one semester, the Braves men’s and women’s bowling team have been busy. 

In 2020, the men’s bowling team had won its conference tournament in order to advance to the inaugural NAIA National Bowling Championship. When COVID-19 hit, all tournaments after spring break were canceled, including the championship. 

This year, both teams were back in conference to battle six other teams to try and advance to the official inaugural tournament; the men were trying to win back-to-back conference champions, while the women were trying to rise above their previous loss to the Midland Warriors. 

At the conference tournament, held March 6 and 7 in Salina, the men came in fourth. The women fell just short of first place, coming in second, yet again to Midland. 

“I wanted this so bad for all of these men and women,” head coach Geoff Poston says. “In the end, we came up a little short, but I couldn’t be more proud of how all of them competed when things weren’t always going well.”

However, just a week later, the men and women learned that they were given an at-large bid into the first-ever national championship. 

“Both teams qualified for the NAIA National Championships. Speechless,” Poston says.

The double-elimination championship, held over three days in Sterling Heights, MI, consisted of 10 teams bowling 24 baker games on day one for seeding, followed by rounds one through five on the second day. The final four teams for both men and women would wait to compete on day three. Each match would consist of best three out of five. 

The women were the number nine seed going into day two; they won their first match 3-2 to the number eight seed, Grandview. The women advanced to round two in the winner’s bracket, going head-to-head with number one seed Indiana Tech; they lost 3-1, dropping to the loser’s bracket. In their final match, the women lost 3.5-2.5 to Martin Methodist. 

The women finished in tenth in the inaugural championship. 

The men moved on to day two in the sixth seed; they had a bye in the first round. In round two, the men initially faced number three seed Martin Methodist, losing 3-2, dropping to the loser’s bracket. After dropping down, they beat William Penn, number eight seed, 3-2 in order to move on to round five. 

In round five, the men bested Indiana Tech, the number five seed, 3-1. The men advanced to day three, making it to the final four. 

In the sixth round, the first match of day three, the men led the first two games against number four seed St. Francis. After the first two games, St. Francis came out on top of the Braves, winning the last three games to advance. 

The men finished fourth in the championship. 

 

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