The Youngstown State bowling team will have its final tune-up before the Southland Bowling League championship event this weekend as it competes at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic. The event is being hosted by Vanderbilt at the Smyrna Bowling Center in Smyrna, Tenn. YSU's 13 matches at the event will be streamed live on the YSUsports YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/ysusports) if the wireless signal in the center permits.
The Columbia 300 Music City Classic will follow the standard three-day tournament format of five Baker matches on Friday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by five traditional matches on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET. The total pinfall from the first two days will determine seeds for Sunday's bracket, and teams will compete in three best-of-seven Baker matches for the final placings beginning at 9:10 a.m. ET.
Scouting The Field
There are 28 teams scheduled to compete at the tournament in suburban Nashville, and Youngstown State is one of 18 teams ranked in the top 25 of the National Tenpin Coaches Association Poll for March. The 24th-ranked Penguins join fellow Southland Bowling League members No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Arkansas State, No. 5 Sam Houston State, No. 6 Stephen F. Austin, No. 12 Tulane and No. 23 Louisiana Tech at the tournament. Other ranked opponents include No. 1 McKendree, No. 9 Saint Francis U, No. 10 UW-Whitewater, No. 11 North Carolina A&T, No. 14 UAB, No. 14 Lincoln Memorial (tie with UAB), No. 17 Adelphi, No. 18 Sacred Heart, No. 20 LIU Brooklyn, No. 21 Maryville and No. 22 Duquesne.
Previously at the Music City Classic
Youngstown State has bowled at the Music City Classic in each of its years as an intercollegiate program. In 2016-17, Rachel Darrow finished third individually with a five-game pinfall of 1,064. That remains the best individual finish at a tournament in program history. YSU placed 20th out of 35 in the team competition. Last year, the Penguins picked up wins over No.7 Delaware State and No. 8 UMES in their final tournament of the season. YSU placed 19th in a 32-team field.
Recapping the Hawk Flight Invite
Youngstown State went 8-5, including three wins over top-12 teams, in head-to-head matches and finished ninth last week at the Hawk Flight Invite in New Jersey. The Penguins beat No. 6 UMES in Baker play last Friday, and they went on to beat No. 10 North Carolina A&T and No. 12 Delaware State on Saturday. Individually, Rachel Darrow and Emma Dockery tied for 20th place with a 938 total, and Rachel Ellis and Nikki Mendez placed 23rd and 26th, respectively.
Following this weekend in Nashville, Youngstown State will compete at the Southland Bowling League Championships at USA Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Friday through Sunday.
Friday's Baker Match Schedule (10:30 a.m. ET)
- #24 Youngstown State vs. North Central College
- #24 Youngstown State vs. #1 McKendree
- #24 Youngstown State vs. #14 Lincoln Memorial
- #24 Youngstown State vs. #6 Stephen F. Austin
- #24 Youngstown State vs. Prairie View A&M
Saturday's Traditional Match Schedule (10:30 a.m. ET)
- #24 Youngstown State vs. #10 UW-Whitewater
- #24 Youngstown State vs. Kentucky Wesleyan
- #24 Youngstown State vs. Central Missouri
- #24 Youngstown State vs. #5 Sam Houston State
- #24 Youngstown State vs. Lewis