Calumet’s Pete Vergos wins men’s title at 2021 Intercollegiate Singles Championships

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WYOMING, Mich. - Pete Vergos claimed the first national championship for Calumet by winning the 2021 Intercollegiate Singles Championships.

Vergos collected the United States Bowling Congress Collegiate national singles title by defeating Wichita State's Alec Keplinger in the final, 205-167. The semifinal and championship match at the 2021 ISC aired Tuesday on CBS Sports Network.

The finals of the 2021 ISC and Intercollegiate Team Championships were held May 8 at the Spectrum Entertainment Complex. The women's ISC telecast aired May 11, with Delaware State's Katie Robb winning the title.

The ITC shows will air on May 25 (women) at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and June 1 (men) at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Vergos, a senior, started strong in the title match. After a spare in the first frame, he rolled three consecutive strikes to build an early lead over Keplinger, who was struggling with his ball reaction after switching from urethane to reactive.

Vergos was the only student-athlete playing the middle part of the lane during the two semifinal matches on the 39-foot oil pattern, and he was able to continue striking after recording a 254-192 victory over St. Ambrose's Jordan Monnens. Vergos started his semifinal match with seven consecutive strikes.

"I thought the lanes were still in my favor, even though there was some transition created during practice," said Vergos, a two-time National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association All-American. "They didn't change too much, and I just had to keep chasing it left. I didn't think I would start the day with the front seven, but my main goal during the show was to fill frames."

Vergos briefly opened the window for Keplinger with a missed 10 pin in the fifth frame, but he was able to stay clean for the remainder of the game to roll to the title. Keplinger, a sophomore, rolled a double in the fifth and sixth frames but followed with opens in the seventh and eighth frames.

For Vergos, the win to cap his collegiate bowling career also was for his Crimson Wave teammates and the program that put trust in him as a student-athlete.

"We all have goals, dreams and aspirations," Vergos said. "But you can never prepare yourself for when it actually becomes a reality. It's something I've worked very hard for, but it's also for the people who have supported me day in and out. I wanted this for me, of course, but I'm nothing without my teammates and coaches. I feel Calumet College was able to put trust in me and give me the confidence moving forward competing for a top-tier program. I knew I was going to be able to elevate my game to new levels and heights, because it's something the program sets out to accomplish each year."

Keplinger advanced to the championship round by defeating Lindenwood's Andrew Sacks, 212-183.

The 2021 ISC featured 24 men and 24 women representing their schools in the national singles event. Individuals earned their spots at the ISC through four sectional qualifiers held throughout the country in April.

Individuals needed to finish in the top six at their sectionals based on six-game pinfall totals.

At the Spectrum Entertainment Complex, all ISC qualifiers bowled six games of qualifying to determine seeding for the single-elimination bracket, with the top eight seeds in each division earning a first-round bye. All bracket matches leading up to the semifinals and finals featured a three-game total-pinfall match to determine which player advanced.

Vergos earned a first-round bye after qualifying in second place. He defeated Rio Grande's Nathan Burns (653-549) and Bowling Green State's Steven Kocher (686-607) to advance to the semifinals.

Keplinger was the top seed for the bracket after leading qualifying with a 1,318 total. He defeated Indiana Tech's Cory Hersha (585-550) and Tusculum's Tyler Moore (568-556) to advance.