EL PASO, Texas - The Wichita State men's and women's teams proved to be ready to defend its United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships crowns as both claimed top seeds heading into match play after Thursday's qualifying round.
The USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships, featuring the top 16 men's and top 16 women's college bowling teams in the country vying for national titles, is being held at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center and runs through Saturday.
The Wichita State men's team, which took home the 2008 and 2009 titles, led the way with a 32-game Baker total of 6,856, an average of 214.25. Lindenwood finished in second with 6,794, while Calumet College was third with 6,670.
"We really saw the changes well today," Shockers men's head coach and USBC Hall of Famer Gordon Vadakin said. "We saw how we needed to match up toward the end of the first block and got better in the afternoon. Every team has a chance starting tomorrow though, so we'll do what we can and hope it's good enough to get the job done."
On the women's side, defending champion Wichita State averaged 202.19 as a team and finished with a total of 6,470. Webber International finished second with 6,229 and was followed in third by Maryland Eastern Shore with 6,221.
The Shockers women's team ran away from the field in the final position, turning its 80-pin lead over Webber International into a 241-pin margin.
"We had a nice match up in the position round, and being next to our guys made a big difference," Wichita State women's head coach and USBC Hall of Famer Mark Lewis said. "I think we have an advantage coming in as the top seed tomorrow, since we'll have lane choice. Over the years, it's proven to be an advantage, but we still need to go out and make the shots."
By being held at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center, the home of the 2010 Women's Championships, Queens and Senior Queens, the Intercollegiate Team Championships was introduced in an arena-setting for qualifying the first time in its 35-year history.
"This is such a prestigious event, and it's great to be in such a wonderful venue," Vadakin said. "I hope the powers that be can make it happen again. Not only is it great for the bowlers, but it allows the spectators to really take in the action."
All teams advanced to the double-elimination, match-play bracket Friday, where the field will be cut to the top four men's and women's teams by the end of the day. The semifinals will be conducted Saturday morning with the top two men's and women's teams advancing to the nationally televised finals, which will air tape-delayed on ESPN2 on May 5 at 9 p.m. EDT.
2010 USBC INTERCOLLEGIATE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
(at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center, El Paso, Texas)
1, Wichita State, 6,856. 2, Lindenwood, 6,794. 3, Calumet College, 6,670. 4, William Paterson, 6,534. 5, Nebraska, 6,521. 6, McKendree, 6,465. 7, Rochester Tech, 6,430. 8, Robert Morris, 6,376. 9, Webber International, 6,373. 10, Hudson Valley CC, 6,372. 11, Central Florida, 6,353. 12, Newman, 6,329. 13, Saginaw Valley State, 6,250. 14, Arizona State, 6,241. 15, Fresno State, 6,174. 16, Purdue, 6,119.
1, Wichita State, 6,470. 2, Webber International, 6,229. 3, Maryland Eastern Shore, 6,221. 4, Lindenwood, 6,171. 5, McKendree, 6,066. 6, Pikeville, 6,059. 7, Robert Morris, 6,057. 8, Fresno State, 5,956. 9, Central Florida, 5,843. 10, Wisconsin-Whitewater, 5,751. 11, Wright State, 5,745. 12, Florida State, 5,642. 13, West Texas A&M, 5,617. 14, Erie CC, 5,572. 15, St. Ambrose, 5,288. 16, Briarcliffe, 5,263.
Friday's First-Round Pairings
(Best-of-seven, double-elimination match play begins at 10 a.m. EDT)
(1) Wichita State vs. (16) Purdue
(8) Robert Morris vs. (9) Webber International
(5) Nebraska vs. (12) Newman
(4) William Paterson vs. (13) Saginaw Valley State
(2) Lindenwood vs. (15) Fresno State
(7) Rochester Tech vs. (10) Hudson Valley CC
(6) McKendree vs. (11) Central Florida
(3) Calumet College vs. (14) Arizona State
(1) Wichita State vs. (16) Briarcliffe
(8) Fresno State vs. (9) Central Florida
(5) McKendree vs. (12) Florida State
(4) Lindenwood vs. (13) West Texas A&M
(2) Webber International vs. (15) St. Ambrose
(7) Robert Morris vs. (10) Wisconsin-Whitewater
(6) Pikeville vs. (11) Wright State
(3) Maryland Eastern Shore vs. (14) Erie CC