The finalists for the Intercollegiate Singles Championships are: (back row, from left) Tom Hankey Jr., Kyle McGrath, Daniel Hanson, Matt Hibbard; (front row) Sierra Kanemoto, Breanna Clemmer, Karsyn Lukosius, Jordan Newham.
DAYTON, Ohio – The finalists for the 2019 Intercollegiate Singles Championships were determined Wednesday at Poelking Lanes South and will feature a former champion in the men’s field while one of the women’s finalists will bowl for a national title in her hometown.
The ISC semifinals and title matches, which will be one-game matches, will take place Saturday and will be taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
In the women’s semifinals, Wichita State’s Sierra Kanemoto will face Breanna Clemmer of McKendree in the opening match with Karsyn Lukosius of Fairleigh Dickinson taking on Vanderbilt’s Jordan Newham in the other semifinal.
Kanemoto is back in her hometown - “I live like 20 minutes away from here” – and wants to follow in the footsteps of her former Wichita State teammate, Sydney Brummett, who won the singles title in 2017.
In her opening match on Wednesday, Kanemoto held a slim lead over Wright State’s Leslie Campbell after two games, but Kanemoto then struck on her first eight shots of the final game to pull away for a 702-616 victory.
It didn’t get any easier in her third-round match. Kanemoto took a 36-pin lead over Hasting’s Samantha Laird after the opening game but Laird responded with a 264 game to grab a four-pin lead in the three-game, total pins match. In a back-and-fourth final game, Kanemoto made the spare she needed in the final frame to advance with a 683-677 victory.
“I was actually shaking the entire time,” said Kanemoto, a senior who made the ISC for the first time in her college career. “But I had a great support system with my teammates and friends from this area.”
And, of course, her mom and dad.
“My parents support me 100 percent and I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” Kanemoto said. “I love how they dedicate their time for me.”
In the men’s semifinals, 2016 ISC champion Daniel Hanson of Robert Morris-Illinois will meet Matt Hibbard of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in one semifinal while Webber International’s Tom Hankey Jr., who beat top-seed Alex Ouellette of Concordia in the third round, faces Kyle McGrath of Lawrence Tech.
Besides the ISC title, Hanson was on last season’s Intercollegiate Team Championships television show and thinks those experiences will be helpful.
“I know what the lights are going to do to the lanes and I already have an idea of those transitions,” Hanson said. “The hot lights burn the fronts up a lot.”
On Wednesday, he posted a 704-590 victory over Pete Vergos of Calumet College and then averaged 260 in his next match, a 781-671 victory over Jorge Rodriguez-Rosas of Lincoln Memorial.
After opening the day with a 181 game, Hanson reeled off games of 247 and 276 to close out his first match, then had games of 258, 255 and 268 in his second match.
Hanson admitted he had to keep winning matches to keep his college career going, as the Robert Morris-Illinois men’s team did not qualify for the team championships.
“Having my family here for support has been unbelievable and my last collegiate game is coming up,” Hanson said. “The last two-and-half sets, I just said ‘These are not my last collegiate games. I have to do something different.’ I went into today with a different game plan on how to break the lanes down, and it worked.”
The 24 men and 24 women competing at the Intercollegiate Singles Championships qualified through one of four sectional events held throughout the country in March.
The national event consisted of six qualifying games to determine seeding for the single-elimination match-play bracket. The bracket matches were three games with total pinfall determining the winner.
CBS Sports Network will televise the semifinals and finals of the women’s division on April 23 at 11 p.m. (Eastern) while the men’s division will air April 30 at 8 p.m. (Eastern).
The Intercollegiate Team Championships, in which the top 16 men’s and top 16 women’s teams in the nation will compete for the Helmer Cup, starts Thursday at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern) at Poelking Lanes South.
BowlTV.com will provide live coverage of the ITC leading up to the televised finals.
Visit BOWL.com/ISC for more information on the Intercollegiate Singles Championships.