PIKEVILLE – On the cusp of qualifying for the USBC national tournament this weekend, the University of Pikeville bowlers learned that both squads are in the Top 10 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll.
The women are ranked fourth in this poll while the men are eighth.
The teams will begin competing Friday in the USBC Sectional Qualifier in Allentown, Penn.
In the NAIA polls, the top three are exactly the same. Robert Morris is atop both with seven first-place votes, while Webber International (Fla.) is second getting the remaining top line. Midland (Neb.) is third in each rating.
On the women’s side, Pikeville is fourth, followed by Marian (Ind.).
In the men’s poll, Calumet College of St. Joseph is fourth, followed by St. Ambrose. William Penn and Marian are in front of Pikeville, with Davenport ninth and a tie for 10th between Martin Methodist and Northwestern Ohio.
The road to the USBC tournament in Lincoln, Neb., will go through the brutal sectional qualifier in Allentown, Penn. On the men’s side, three Top 10 teams, four of the top 12, six Top 20 teams and eight of the top 33 are in Allentown.
Only the top four from each sectional qualifier will make it to Lincoln.
Qualifying for the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championship will take place on Friday with Pikeville bowlers competing in both Allentown and Smyrna, Tenn. The Intercollegiate Team Championship qualifying takes place Saturday and Sunday.
No. 3 Morehead State heads the Allentown qualifier, joined by No. 6 Webber International, No. 9 Notre Dame (Ohio) and No. 12 Rochester Tech. Pikeville follows at No. 19, followed by No. 20 William Paterson.
In the women’s draw, the field is just as tough. No. 3 Webber International is the top seed, with Pikeville, ranked sixth, following.
No. 12 Robert Morris-Peoria, No. 16 Viterbo and No. 19 Notre Dame (Ohio) makes five Top 20 team, with No. 23 St. Francis (Penn.) and No. 30 Ursuline giving it six Top 30 teams. Niagara County CC (No. 33), Erie CC (37) and Long Island-Brooklyn (38) make it a very deep section.