(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – For the first in six years, the William Penn bowling teams will battle for an NAIA title as they compete at the NAIA Invitational Friday through Sunday.
Bowling is currently an emerging sport in the NAIA and will finally gain Championship status next year. While the tournament is an Invitational and not a Championship, teams must still earn an invitation based on high national rankings.
In past years, despite receiving an invitation, William Penn has declined to compete. The Statesmen men finished as high as second in 2010-2011, while the women were fifth in 2011-2012.
The event is stocked with talented teams on both sides that have qualified for the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships next month in Lincoln, Neb.; eight men’s teams have qualified, while five women’s teams have also done so. At the end of the regular season, the WPU men were 17th and the women were 24th and both have advanced to the ITC.
Headlining the men’s 20-team field is Calumet-St. Joseph (Ind.), which is #1 in collegebowling.com’s ranking that includes every program in the nation, regardless of division. Three other squads are also in the top 10 nationally, while a total of nine top-20 programs will compete this weekend. All 20 teams in the field are ranked in the top 51 in the country.
On the women’s side, #3 St. Ambrose is the top squad in the 20-program field, while 10 top-20 teams will be featured (four from the top 10). All 20 teams are ranked in the top 39 in the country.