Bowling Heads South for Sunshine State Winter Classic

Emma Wasielewski
Emma Wasielewski

The Youngstown State bowling team will compete in its only tournament in February this weekend as they head to Orlando, Fla, for the Sunshine State Winter Classic. The tournament is being co-hosted by Stephen F. Austin and Sacred Heart at Boardwalk Bowl. YSU's 13 matches at the event will be streamed live on the YSUsports YouTube channel ( if the wireless in the center permits, and results will be posted on the team's Twitter feed (@YSUBowling).

Tournament Format: The Sunshine State Winter Classic will be a three-day tournament with a modified format. Teams will compete in five Baker matches on Friday and five traditional team matches on Saturday like a standard competition. However, teams will compete in one more team game on Sunday morning before bowling in two best-of-seven bracketed Baker matches that will determine the final standings. The start times will be 9:35 a.m. on Friday, 8:25 a.m. on Saturday and 8:25 a.m. on Sunday.

Scouting the Field: Youngstown State is one of 14 programs that will compete in the tournament, and the Penguins are one of 11 teams in the field that was ranked in the top 25 of February's National Tenpin Coaches Association Poll. The 25th-ranked Penguins will join fellow Southland Bowling League members No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Stephen F. Austin and No. 9 Tulane at the tournament, and other ranked teams in the field include No. 3 Nebraska, No. 12 Delaware State, No. 14 UAB, No. 15 Lincoln Memorial, No. 18 Maryville, No. 20 Sacred Heart and No. 22 Monmouth. Rounding out the field will be Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and Prairie View A&M.

Recapping Last Tournament: Youngstown State is coming off one of its best weekends in program history as it placed seventh in the 28-team KU Invitational Jan. 18-20. The Penguins went 9-4 in head-to-head matches and beat seven ranked teams, including to-10 opponents No. 5 Sam Houston State and No. 7 Fairleigh Dickinson. YSU set school records for highest Baker match score, highest traditional match score and best tournament pinfall in traditional play. Nikki Mendez was the top individual finisher in 12th place with a five-game score of 1,043, and Rachel Darrow and Emma Dockery both placed in the top 20.

Up Next: The Penguins will begin a busy March at the Hawk Flight Invite March 1-3. YSU will bowl in at least three tournaments in the month, including the SBL Championships March 22-24 in Dallas.