By Steve LeMaster
April 1, 2014
VERNON HILLS, Ill. – Day two of the NAIA Team Championships started out with a win for the University of Pikeville women’s bowling team in the loser’s bracket, but a loss to the eventual champion in the next round ended the run on Sunday.
Pikeville opened the day with an exciting win over Davenport (Mich.). After falling behind 2-0, the Bears won the next three games 199-178, 216-178 and 183-162 to advance. But eventual champion Webber International (Fla.) was too strong in the next round, topping the Bears 3-1 with scores of 183-203, 200-174, 279-201 and 224-177.
Webber International eliminated St. Ambrose 3-0 in the finals of the loser’s bracket before going on to beat Robert Morris (Ill.) twice in the championship round to steal the title.
There is still an opportunity for Pikeville to win another national championship as it qualified for the xBowling USBC Intercollegiate Team Championship on April 15-18 in Reno, Nev.
UPIKE women advance to Sunday’ men’s team falls short: After six rounds of the double-elimination match-play brackets at the NAIA Invitational Team Championships, the University of Pikeville women found themselves in the loser’s bracket semifinals, while the men took two tough losses to end their season at Brunswick Zone Hawthorn.
On the women’s side, the third-seeded Bears opened the NAIA team event with a 3-0 sweep of No. 19 Cumberlands. UPIKE cruised to 218-171, 180-171 and 207-169 wins. In the winner’s bracket quarterfinals, UPIKE won 3-0 again, topping No. 11 Grand View (Iowa) 211-202, 213-160 and 256-115.
The Bears finally met their match in the semifinals as No. 2 Robert Morris (Ill.) won 3-0 with wins of 238-175, 191-162 and 236-175.
On the men’s side, UPIKE’s first loss couldn’t have been any closer. In the first round against No. 5 Robert Morris, the 12th-seeded Bears played to a 2-2 tie until ultimately losing just 201-199 in the fifth match.
The Bears couldn’t avoid elimination in the loser’s bracket as No. 13 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) beat them 3-0 with scores of 213-174, 193-191 and 228-218.
UPIKE ends a season on the men’s side that includes its first Mid-South Conference Team Championship.