The Youngstown State bowling team will begin its spring schedule on Friday at the three-day KU Invitational. The tournament is being hosted by Kutztown University at Hiester Lanes in Reading, Pa.
The Penguins will be in action for the first time in 11 weeks against a challenging field featuring 17 teams in November's National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 25 poll. YSU will compete in six Baker matches on Friday beginning at 10:35 a.m., and it will bowl in six traditional matches on Saturday at 9:25 a.m. The results from Friday and Saturday will determine seeding for Sunday's three bracket matches of best-of-seven Baker games.
Youngstown State is scheduled to bowl against nine top-25 teams in the first two days with four opponents in Baker matches and five more in Saturday's traditional format.
Below is Youngstown State's full list of opponents for Friday and Saturday:
Friday Baker Schedule – starts at 10:35 a.m.
- Morgan State (Lanes 13 and 14)
- No. 18 Adelphi (Lanes 17 and 18)
- Howard (Lanes 23 and 24)
- No. 7 Fairleigh Dickinson (Lanes 27 and 28)
- No. 12 Delaware State (Lanes 3 and 4)
- No. 10 UMES (lanes 7 and 8)
Saturday Traditional Match Schedule – starts at 9:25 a.m.
- Kutztown (Lanes 3 and 4)
- No. 11 Sacred Heart (Lanes 15 and 16)
- No. 19 Saint Francis U (Lanes 17 and 18)
- No. 21 St. Francis Brooklyn (Lanes 19 and 20)
- No. 13 LIU Brooklyn (Lanes 27 and 28)
- No. 17 Franklin Pierce (Lanes 5 and 6)
Youngstown State ended its fall schedule at the Track KAT Klash on Nov. 6 with a 10th-place finish against a tough slate of competition. The Penguins' performance in their first four tournaments as a Division I program earned them several votes in most recent NTCA Top 25 poll. Youngstown State earned seven wins against ranked teams in the fall, including Sam Houston State. The Bearkats were ranked sixth nationally at the time and have moved up to No. 2 in the most recent poll.
Individually, Nikki Mendez carries the top game average for the Penguins at 191.73, and she owns the top Baker frame average at 19.08. Rachel Darrow is next in line in both categories at 183.00 and 18.37, respectively.
Youngstown State will bowl in four more regular-season tournaments in the spring as it competes for a spot at the NCAA Championships in April. In February, YSU will bowl at tournaments hosted by Stephen F. Austin and Valparaiso, and in March it will bowl in tournaments hosted by Monmouth and Vanderbilt.