PIKEVILLE – Five of the nation’s Top 20 women’s bowling teams competed in the Allentown Sectional for the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships over the weekend, with only four teams advancing. Of those five, only two qualified for next month’s national tournament.
Fortunately for Pikeville bowling fans, one of those is the University of Pikeville.
On the men’s side, however, the Bears were not as fortunate.
Pikeville, ranked sixth in the most recent power ratings, finished second in the Allentown qualifier. Webber International, the third-ranked team in the country and defending USBC national champions, won the event with a 64-game total of 12455.
UPike finished with a score of 12301.
From there it got interesting. Kutztown, ranked 41st in this week’s power rating, was third while No. 46 Sacred Heart was fourth. This meant No. 12 Robert Morris-Peoria, No. 16 Viterbo and No. 19 Notre Dame (Ohio) did not make it out of the sectional. Robert Morris finished seventh in the 17-team field, while Notre Dame was ninth and Viterbo 10th.
“We said all along this was a tough field, and it proved to be the case,” said Ron Damron, whose Bears continued their streak of qualifying for the national event every year since the team began competing in 2002. “This was probably the most talented and balanced sectional I’ve ever seen, and we are fortunate that we advanced.”
The Pikeville men finished seventh in the qualifier with a total of 12212. The Bears entered the weekend ranked 19th in the nation.
No. 9 Notre Dame won the Allentown event with a 64-game score of 12963, only 14 pins ahead of third-ranked Morehead State. No. 6 Webber and No. 20 William Paterson will also advance to Lincoln.
The foursome from the Allentown women’s draw will be joined by Wichita State, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Stephen F. Austin and Midland from the Las Vegas qualifier; Lindenwood, McKendree, Marian and Norfolk State from Smyrna, Tenn.; and Wisconsin-Whitewater, Robert Morris-Illinois, Wright State and Newman from Fairview Heights, Ill.
All teams bowled 64 games of Baker competition over two days for the right to advance to the Intercollegiate Team Championships, which will be held April 18-20 at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb. The men’s and women’s finals will be broadcast in May on CBS Sports Network.