Four teams making first trip to Intercollegiate Team Championships Terry Bigham April 18, 2019 The Indiana Tech women’s team is making its first appearance at the Intercollegiate Team Championships and qualified second for the match-play bracket. RESULTS DAYTON, Ohio – The road to the Intercollegiate Team Championships is not an easy one.The 2019 event kicked off Thursday morning with the 32 teams bowling 24 Baker qualifying games to determine seeding for the double-elimination match-play bracket. Match play starts Thursday afternoon with the first two rounds and continues Friday until the finalists are determined.BowlTV.com has live coverage of all match-play rounds. Saturday’s title matches will be taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network.College bowling continues to grow, meaning more teams are vying for the coveted 16 men’s spots and 16 women’s spots at the event. Making the ITC not only is major accomplishment for the student-athletes, but can provide a boost to the school in terms of recognition.At the 2019 ITC, two women’s teams, Duquesne and Indiana Tech, and two men’s teams, Grand Canyon and Emmanuel, are making their first appearances in the pinnacle event of the college bowling season. “This is absolutely incredible,” Indiana Tech junior Jaimee Jaskie said. “Coming in our freshman year, there’s no way I ever thought we would be here. We thought maybe our senior year, we had the potential to give it a run, but to come in this early – we have no seniors – is just absolutely incredible and pretty surreal to be here.”Indiana Tech’s third-place finish at the Smyrna sectional should not have come as a surprise, given the fact the Warriors finished the season by taking third at the Hoosier Classic leading into ITC sectionals. “I think we actually put ourselves on the map, that people actually know who Indiana Tech is,” Jaskie said of the school located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “We’re making history and it’s really special to be a part of this, to kind of pave the way.”In just its fourth season, the Warriors followed its sectional performance by reaching the title match of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament in late March, falling to Savannah College of Art and Design-Savannah in the title match.“This has been quite a ride,” Indiana Tech coach Tom Osborne said. “I’m excited for what has happened in four years. As a coach, you have ideas and theories, and it shows we’re doing it right. We’re still very young - my girls team won’t graduate anyone this year.”Osborne said the team’s ability to compete alongside, and hold their own, against the top programs shows the process is working.“That was the biggest thing, we worked through tournaments where you are getting beat by 500 or 600 or 700 pins,” Osborne said. “Then it was 300 or 400 hundred, then you add a couple of kids and now we are winning things and are competitive in every tournament.”Jody Fetterhoff was a collegiate bowler at Shippensburg and coached the men’s and women’s programs at Adrian College before taking over the women’s program at Duquesne, located in Pittsburgh.The Dukes nearly reached the ITC in 2017, finishing fifth at its sectional, before placing third at the Addison, Illinois, sectional this season to earn its spot in the field.“It means everything for the team, after being so close the last two years,” said Fetterhoff, who reached the ITC twice as a coach and twice as a player before this year. “This is not only our goal but our dream as a program, like every team out there. For us to do it in Year 3 is pretty special.”Fetterhoff said after the team found out it had made the ITC, she heard from a top recruit, who said she would commit to Duquesne.“She was looking at us before we made nationals, but I think that was a deciding factor,” Fetterhoff said. “A couple of years ago, those recruits probably didn’t know we existed. When you make nationals, you get that next level of recruits.”Indiana Tech is the No. 2 seed in the women’s match-play bracket after Thursday’s 24 Baker games of qualifying and faces St. Francis-Illinois in its opening match. Duquesne, as the seventh seed, starts match play against defending ITC champion Lindenwood.Four of the 16 women’s teams at this year’s ITC come from programs that have made the tournament more than 15 times, while eight teams have five or fewer appearances. Nine of the schools in the women’s field have fewer appearances in the ITC than the Wichita State women’s program has titles (9).But once a team makes the ITC, Lindenwood women’s coach Phil Vida said the difference between the No. 1 seed and the No. 16 seed after qualifying at the ITC “is not that big.”“When you get into a best-of-seven match-play situation, anything can happen,” said Vida, selected as the Kerm Helmer Coach of the Year for the 2018-2019 season by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association. “One tripped 4 pin in the right place can completely change the momentum of a match.”Lindenwood is attempting to accomplish a feat that hasn’t been done in 30 years – win back-to-back titles. West Texas State (now West Texas A&M) was the last women’s team to do so in 1987-1988.McKendree had the chance for a second consecutive title last season but fell to Lindenwood in the title match.“It’s really, really hard to win a national championship to begin with,” Vida said. “The odds are stacked against you and everyone’s going to bring their best. If a team comes in and is considered the favorite, then their opponents come in with a little less pressure because they have nothing to lose.”Lindenwood entered the ITC as the top-ranked team in the country and Vida hopes the ride the Lions have enjoyed this season can continue for a few more days.“We’ve had the best season in our women’s program history,” Vida said. “It’s been pretty special from that standpoint and I hope we can carry that magic into this weekend.”Visit BOWL.com/ITC to learn more about the Intercollegiate Team Championships.