Penguins Move Up a Spot, Enter Bracket Play in Ninth

Nikki Mendez
Nikki Mendez

The Youngstown State bowling team had its second-highest pinfall in program history in traditional play of a tournament, and the Penguins moved up a spot in the team standings to ninth at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic.

YSU went 3-2 in head-to-head play and bowled at least a 936 in all five matches. Individually, Nikki Mendez and Emily Dietz both posted the best sets of their careers with a 1,063 and 988, respectively.

"Today was a total team effort," said YSU head coach Doug Kuberski. "From match one to match five, the ladies had each other's backs, and we saved a lot of sets with some big finishes in the ninth and tenth frames. We navigated the last match and the transition quite well, and I was pleased with the shot quality throughout the day as we crossed the house. We're going to rest up tonight and are excited for bracket play tomorrow."

A day after earning the program's first victory over a No. 1 ranked team, YSU began the second day at the Smyrna Bowling Center with a 1,017-962 victory over UW-Whitewater. The Penguins followed that with a 971-785 triumph against Kentucky Wesleyan, but they dropped their next two contest to No. 16 Central Missouri (980-936) and No. 5 Sam Houston State (1,024-987). YSU completed the qualifying sets with a 966-923 victory over Lewis.

Mendez broke 200 in all five games and improved her score each game. She topped out at 235 in the win over Lewis, and she finished 17th in the individual standings. Dietz had three games of 200+, including a 223 in the win over UW-Whitewater, and she finished 46th individually. Rachel Darrow finished six spots back in 52nd with a 975, and Emma Dockery placed 92nd with an 899. Ashley Kolb and Rachel Ellis combined to shoot 952 over five games in the fifth spot in the lineup.

Youngstown State will have a rematch with Central Missouri to start best-of-seven bracket play on Sunday at 9:10 a.m. Eastern.

Saturday's Traditional Match Results

  1. #24 Youngstown State 1,017 - #10 UW-Whitewater 962
  2. #24 Youngstown State 971 – Kentucky Wesleyan 785
  3. #16 Central Missouri 980 – #24 Youngstown State 936
  4. #5 Sam Houston State 1,024 – #24 Youngstown State 987
  5. #24 Youngstown State 966 – Lewis 923