(HIGHLAND, Indiana) – The William Penn University Men’s Bowling Team made a deep run, but fell shy of a national crown as it competed at the NAIA Invitational Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25.
William Penn rolled in 24 Baker qualifying games before facing off against the NAIA’s best in bracket play. The navy and gold finished fourth out of 20 teams with 5,132 pins (213.8 average), while Webber International (Fla.) and Robert Morris (Ill.) tied for the most pins with 5,457 (227.4 average). Webber international won the tiebreaker to claim the top seed.
By finishing in the top 12, the Statesmen bowlers received a bye in the double-elimination format and took on #20 seed Lindsey Wilson in the second round. The program won its first match 3-1 by scores of 216-196, 193-215, 215-174, 191-187.
Unfortunately, in a foreshadowing of the future, WPU was dropped to the consolation bracket with a 3-0 loss to #5 seed St. Ambrose (160-213, 163-223, 202-247).
However, William Penn rebounded after the setback by winning three consecutive matches to get to the consolation quarterfinals. First, the navy and gold dropped #16 seed Concordia (Mich.) 3-1 (184-214, 217-163, 210-181, 201-156) and then defeated #9 seed St. Francis (Ill.) by the same 3-1 tally (162-189, 206-169, 246-231, 235-194).
WPU claimed its biggest win as it eliminated #2 seed Robert Morris in five games (234-227, 136-243, 199-202, 257-231, 222-215), but the road to the biggest trophy ended in the next round as St. Ambrose slipped past the Statesmen 3-1 (203-209, 237-221, 233-280, 171-246). WPU finished the tournament with a 4-2 record, tying SAU and Lawrence Tech for the second-best record in the field.
The Fighting Bees eventually reached the final and actually forced an ‘if necessary’ match, but Webber International held its seed for the crown.
This is the final year the NAIA will have an Invitational as next year the sport moves to Championship status.
Team members included Quincy Bruce (Sr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, General Accounting), Braxton Coble (Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Business Management), David Decker (So., Peyton, Colo., Physical Education), Bret Keimig(Sr., Davenport, Iowa, Physical Education), Aleksander Kostric (Fr., Koper, Slovenia, Sports Management), Rok Kostric (Fr., Koper, Slovenia, Sports Management), Curtis Majka (Sr., Elgin, Ill., Mechanical Engineering), and Nick Walker (Jr., Zeeland, Mich., Business Management).
For his efforts, Rok Kostric was named to the five-person all-tournament team.
William Penn will try for an even bigger national crown–the ultimate crown–as it competes in the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships in Lincoln, Neb. from April 16–21.
This story was provided in a news release sent on behalf of William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.