Finalists determined for 2024 Intercollegiate Singles Championships


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The eight finalists for the 2024 Intercollegiate Singles Championships were determined after quarterfinal-round matches were completed at Kingpin Lanes in the Greater Louisville area on Wednesday morning.

The ISC semifinals and title matches, which will be one-game matches, will take place Saturday and be taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

On the women’s side, Crystal Elliott of Jacksonville State will face Lindenwood’s Hailey Bozych in one semifinal match while Natalie Kent of Vanderbilt and Wichita State’s Sara Duque square off in the other.

Men’s semifinal action will feature Carstin Olson of Hastings College battling Wichita State’s Braden Mallasch with the victor moving on to take on the winner of the matchup between Jaysen Spanbauer of Marian-Wisconsin and Wichita State’s Ryan Barnes.

All eight remaining competitors took their own unique paths to reach the semifinals, but none were more arduous than Elliott’s.

That’s because the reigning women’s U.S. Amateur champion found herself facing an 85-pin deficit after Game 1 of her quarterfinal match against Lewis’ Erica Lohr.

It wasn’t because Elliott bowled poorly to start the match; it was simply because Lohr bowled that well.

Lohr, who entered match play as the No. 24 seed in the 24-player women’s field, started Game 1 with nine strikes in a row before her 10th shot crept high on the head pin and left the 3-6. She converted the spare and got nine on her final shot to finish with 278.

Elliott, meanwhile, came in at 193. It was a respectable score; nevertheless, it put the women’s top seed down by nearly 100 pins with just two games to go in the three-game, total-pinfall match.

That scenario would have been enough to rattle most competitors, but not Elliott. So, instead of pushing the panic button, she simply went to work.

She continued making quality shots and controlled the pocket masterfully during Game 2, which allowed her to top Lohr by a score of 237-173 and cut the overall deficit to just 21 pins heading into the final game.

Sensing that the momentum had shifted, Elliott was not about to let up during Game 3; instead, she kept her foot on the gas and raced past Lohr once again, this time by a final margin of 229-177, which allowed Elliott to successfully complete the comeback and punch her ticket to the semifinals by a final score 659-628.

Although the match didn’t go exactly the way Elliott would have drawn it up, she was happy with the perseverance and poise she showed while rallying to victory.

“This match really came down to me continuing to follow the plan that I had yesterday, staying patient with myself and just executing,” Elliott said. “Obviously, nobody wants to be in an 85-pin deficit after Game 1, but it’s about never giving up, digging your heals in and just doing what you have to do to give yourself an opportunity.”

Elliott certainly took advantage of every opportunity she was given during the quarterfinals, and she hopes to do the same come Saturday.

“This is my first time bowling nationals for ISCs, so there is no expectation; it’s just about going with the flow and enjoying the opportunity I have at hand since it’s the first and only time I’ll have the chance to do this,” Elliott said. “It’s just about having fun and enjoying the entire experience.”
Bozych will come to that match sporting a very similar attitude as the Lindenwood sophomore will be making her TV debut on Saturday.

“I’ve never competed on TV before, so this is a big accomplishment for me,” Bozych said. “This is as far as I’ve ever gone in a big tournament like this, so I’m just excited to get back on the lanes and compete for a national title.”

If Wednesday’s performance was any indication of what’s to come, then Bozych’s chances would have to be considered as strong as any.

She authored the women’s highest set of the day during the quarterfinals, using games of 236, 188 and 247 to take down Louisiana Tech’s Kylee Trexler by a final margin of 671-584.

But it’s not firepower that Bozych will be counting upon come Saturday; instead, she’ll rely on what’s upstairs.

“I’m really big on having a positive mental game, so I always just try to talk myself through matches, stay positive no matter what happens and never hang my head,” Bozych said. “I’m really excited for Saturday because I know my family and my teammates will all be rooting for me. Winning this would mean so much to me.”

Vanderbilt freshman Natalie Kent knows the importance of having support from people back home as well. She drew upon that during her 665-650 quarterfinal win over Jacksonville State’s Kayla Smith on Wednesday, and she’s hoping it will propel her to more solid bowling during the semifinals.

“I’ve had a lot of supporters watching me this week, and it’s always great to have that,” Kent said. “To be successful on Saturday, I just have to keep making good shots and stay aggressive.”

Kent certainly won’t have the luxury of being timid if she hopes to get past Duque. That’s because the Wichita State freshman has shown herself capable of striking with anyone.

Duque fell behind Viterbo’s Emily Newbauer by 34 pins after coming up on the short end of a 213-179 decision during Game 1 on Wednesday; nevertheless, the Shocker was not rattled, and she showed it by taking the next two games by scores of 211-169 and 278-202 to clinch a 668-584 victory and berth in the semifinals.

For Duque, the opportunity to compete for the women’s singles national title is not just exciting, it’s gratifying.

“This shows that all of the work and practice is paying off because I’m getting the results that I wanted, so I’m very happy about that,” Duque said. “I’m really excited for Saturday. The idea is to win, but I’m just going to try to keep doing what I’ve done the first two days.” 

All four men’s semifinalists will have their sights set on winning as well, but two of them will have a bit of extra incentive thanks to the possibility of a teammate vs. teammate championship battle for bragging rights.

That’s precisely what will occur if Mallasch can dispatch Olson and Barnes can take down Spanbauer to set up an all-Wichita State men’s title match.

Both Shockers are intrigued by the possibility of that matchup, and it didn’t take long for the trash-talking to begin when discussing it shortly after the completion of Wednesday’s quarterfinal round.

Barnes didn’t hesitate when asked how it would feel to face Mallasch for the title.

“He doesn’t want it,” Barnes said with a smile. “But seriously, it would feel amazing to represent the school and to win. Still, I just need to stay within my process and do what I do. I’m pretty confident, so we’ll just see what happens.”

All that’s happened so far is stellar bowling from Barnes.

After starting match play with a score of 162, Barnes averaged 229.5 during the eight games that followed, which allowed him to go 2-0 on Tuesday and then move past Newman’s Zachary Smullen, 620-531, during quarterfinal action on Wednesday to punch his ticket to Saturday’s TV show.

Mallasch has been pretty impressive in his own right, however, as he put up the block of the tournament during Wednesday’s quarterfinal round, shooting scores of 252, 259 and 264 en route to a 775-724 win over Ardani Rodas of St. Francis-Illinois.

That performance more than illustrates what Mallasch is capable of, and as far as a possible title tilt with Barnes is concerned, Mallasch says bring it on.

“I just need to get through the first match because I’ll have an easy finals if Ryan (Barnes) makes it; I know I can beat Ryan,” Mallasch said with Barnes standing just a few feet away. “It feels great to know that I’m on the show and still bowling for a national title because that’s what I came here to do.”

Neither Mallash nor Barnes will have an easy path to the finals, however, not if Spanbauer and Olson have anything to say about it.

Olson earned his spot in the semifinals by eliminating men’s No. 1 seed Kai Yamada of Mount Mercy, 567-544, on Wednesday morning.

That outcome may have seemed surprising to some onlookers, but it didn’t shock Olson, who seems to be relishing the underdog role as the No. 24 seed in the 24-player men’s field and the only left-hander to reach the semifinals.

“It feels amazing to get to the semifinals because all of the other lefties here throw it great. To be the one who advanced and got past the No. 1 seed to do it is just incredible,” Olson said. “Coming into college, I never thought that I’d get a chance to do something like this, so to be on the show with a chance to bowl for a national title is just amazing.”

Speaking of amazing, Spanbauer was just that during his quarterfinal victory over Zackary Sisk of Trine.

Spanbauer struck early and often, starting with scores of 266 and 259 before finishing with a solid 209 to easily race past Sisk and into the semifinals by a final margin of 734-539.

Spanbauer has been strong since competition began on Tuesday, and he has no plans on changing anything now.

“I just stuck to my gameplan again today, which was to keep my tempo nice and calm and take advantage of the free hook to the right,” Spanbauer said. “I’ve been telling myself all week to just take things one shot at a time, breathe and keep things slow. All four of us have proven that we’re physically capable of winning on Saturday, so it’s going to come down to whoever has the best mental approach. I believe that I have the ability to do it.”

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.

The semifinals and finals will be taped on Saturday with the ISC women’s finals airing on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, April 23, followed by the ISC men’s finals on April 30.

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 a.m. Eastern at Kingpin Lanes. will provide live coverage of the ITC leading up to the televised finals.

Visit for more information on the Intercollegiate Singles Championships.