February 20, 2019 – The No. 19 Mount St. Mary's women's bowling program has earned a bid to the Intercollegiate Team Championships Sectional Qualifier, the United States Bowling Congress announced Wednesday evening.
The event is put on by USBC Collegiate, a governing body for the sport that oversees all NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and USBC Collegiate Club programs. The Mount is one of 64 teams to receive the invitation, which is based on a point ranking system algorithm that takes into account each team's total power points, as well as average points per tournament.
The 64-team field will be split into four different sectionals: Stratford, New Jersey, Smyrna, Tennessee, Addison, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas. The Mountaineers will compete in the Addison Sectional, a suburb of Chicago, at Stardust Bowl. They will be joined in their sectional by the following teams: Lindenwood-MO, Robert Morris-IL, St. Francis-IL, Grand View, Saint Xavier, Judson, Alma, Calumet, Viterbro, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Concordia-MI, Aquinas-MI, Lawrence Tech-MI, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Highland CC, Duquesne, Siena Heights-MI, and Waldorf.
Sectional locations for each team are based on geographic and economic concern, along with a desire to keep each field as equally competitive as possible. The team sectional competitions will take place March 9-10, with each team bowling 64 baker games over the course of two days. The four teams with the highest total pin-fall from each sectional will make up the 16-team national bracket in Lima, Ohio, April 17-21. There will be an individual competition as well on March 8, with the top bowlers also advancing to Ohio for their respective finals.
"As someone that participated in this event as a collegiate bowler, I am beyond thrilled our team has received a bid in our inaugural season," said Head Coach Kenneth DeGraaf. "For multiple reasons, NCAA women's programs are often at a disadvantage when it comes to qualifying. In the past, some of the best NCAA teams barley made the cut, only to go on and win the Intercollegiate Team Championship in April. That being said, if we can put down a strong two days of qualifying, I am optimistic we will have a chance to extend our season into April. This opportunity is a credit to all the hard work our ladies have put in throughout the season."
The Mountaineers will be in action this weekend at Northeast Conference Meet #2, where they hope to keep their conference season alive by qualifying for NEC Championships. The top five records from NEC #1 and NEC #2 combined will advance to the Championships in March. Currently, the Mount paces the conference at a perfect 6-0. The top five teams in the seven-team field will qualify.