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WICHITA, Kan. – A first place qualifying position and undefeated in match play, the Lady Shocks swiftly powered through the competition in the 2014 Hoosier Classic at Western Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind. last Sunday.
All 64 women’s teams bowled 9 qualifying games before cutting to the top 8 for a baker bracket. Each match consisted of a best 2 out of 3 games format, with the final match requiring best 4 out of 7 games.
The Lady Shockers posted a perfect event from start to finish by leading qualifying, and going undefeated in match play. Not only did the women have an undefeated match play record, they crushed the now third and fourth ranked teams in the nation, Robert Morris University and Lindenwood University.
“I couldn’t tell you a single score from the weekend,” senior Holly Harris said. “Our plan in match play was to stay within us and we did that really well.”
Most players and coaches consider the Hoosier Classic the most prestigious in season event. It has the largest field of any collegiate tournament with teams coming from all parts of the country. Each lane condition is a completely different challenge ranging in length, volume, conditioner, and shape.
“This event really tests our skills,” Assistant Coach Mark Lewis said. “The hard work we put into practice is clearly showing up in competition.”
It was the first time the group of four girls, now seniors, finished first in this tournament.
“To do this undefeated was the joy above all,” Senior Allie Ijams said. “It showed we could come together when the challenge was high and see it through. We communicated, delivered, and finished on top.”
It was not just a joyous win, either. These girls are using the tournament win to keep the ball rolling into post-season. Momentum is a large part of successful teams and this was a great place to start it.
“We were able to see what we are capable of,” Ijams said. “Now it’s only a matter of continuing the same process and enjoying the last moments we have together as this team.”
Seniors Ijams of Mission Viejo, Calif., Harris of Long Prarie, Minn., Kelsey Muther of Topeka, Kan. and Tannya Roumimper of Bandung, Indonesia all graduate at the completion of this semester, rounding off their four years of eligibility with four year degrees.
Aside from the team honors, the Shockers had great individual performances in the qualifying portion of the event. Sophomore Dasha Kovalova finished first in the all-tournament team standings, out averaging the field by 7 pins per game (211.00 average). On the men’s side, Junior Francois Lavoie finished 4th with an average of 217.56 for 9 games.
The Shocker men were not able to overcome their struggles, qualifying 12th and losing in the first round of match play to San Jose State 2-0. Their 12th place finish was out of a shocking 78 teams.
“It was a challenging experience,” Senior Devin Bidwell said. “We are now plenty aware of where we need to focus our practices. We’ll be a different team come sectionals.”
For more information about Shocker Bowling, please visit our website at www.wichita.edu/bowling.
The Rhatigan Student Center has been the major financial and administrative supporter of the Wichita State University bowling program since 1959.