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With one-half of the bowling season complete, both the Patriot men and women have positioned themselves pretty well for the chance to advance in the postseason. Larry Luvisi’s teams have bowled in four tournaments and have four remaining in the second semester.
“For the sectionals of the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) they take 80 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams,” said Luvisi. “Our men are currently ranked 87th, so they need to move up some. Our women are 53rd, so they stand a good chance of getting to the sectionals.”
Casey Baryla, a freshman from Michigan, leads the Patriot women with an average of 176 per game. Amanda Conrad is close behind with a 174 average. Tiffany Webb averaged 170 through the first four tournaments, while Stephanie Wilcheck is averaging 167. Lauren Johnston and Megan Helm are averaging 160 and 144, respectively.
The Patriot women’s best outing was at the first tournament of the season, when they finished fifth out of 13 teams at the Green River Classic in Campbellsville. They finished 13th out of 18 teams at both the Boilermaker Classic at Purdue University and the Southern Classic in Atlanta. At the Bellarmine Knights Classic in Louisville, the SCC women took seventh place in the 14-team field.
Baryla turned in a 190 average at the Bellarmine tournament and was named to the all-tournament team.
The best performance by the men’s team also came at the Green River Classic, where they finished eighth among 18 teams. They were 16th of 21 at Purdue and 15th of 21 in Atlanta. At the Bellarmine tournament, the Patriots were 10th out of 15 teams.
Craig Cox, a freshman from Louisville, leads the patriots with a 179 average. Jimmy Carroll averages 178, while Shawn West and Brett Saltsman both average 176. Billy Lundy and Jamie Wallingford average 173 and 172, respectively.
Based on the first tournament at Campbellsville, in which all seven Mid-South Conference teams competed, the Patriot men and women are both third in the MSC, the men trailing Pikeville and Cumberlands and the women behind Pikeville and Campbellsville.
“Our guys are good in third place, but our women should really be second,” said Luvisi. “Our conference tournament will be seeded by the results of three regular season tournaments. That tournament is a double-elimination in Lexington in February.”
Bowling is still considered an “emerging sport” by the NAIA, but next year it will be recognized as a varsity sport by both the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference. This year all NAIA teams that wish to participate will be able to bowl in the national NAIA tournament, but next year they must qualify to receive an invitation.
The next tournament for both the men and women will be in Richmond Jan. 26 hosted by Union College.