Bowling to Host Season-Opening Columbia 300 Penguin Classic This Weekend

2019-20 YSU Bowling Seniors - Rachel Darrow, Nikki Mendez and Ashley Kolb (from left to right)
2019-20 YSU Bowling Seniors - Rachel Darrow, Nikki Mendez and Ashley Kolb (from left to right)

The Youngstown State women's bowling team will host its first tournament in program history this weekend as it welcomes seven teams to Holiday Bowl in Struthers, Ohio, for the Columbia 300 Penguin Classic.

The Penguins will begin their fourth season as an intercollegiate program on Friday at the tournament, which will conclude on Sunday. All 13 of YSU's matches at the tournament will be streamed live on the YSUsports YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/ysusports), and results will be posted on the team's Twitter account (@YSUBowling) throughout the day.

Tournament Format and Fan Information

The Columbia 300 Penguin Classic will follow the standard three-day tournament format. On Friday, five Baker matches will begin at 10 a.m., and Saturday's five traditional matches will start at 8:30 a.m. Teams will then be bracketed based on total pinfall from the first two days for three best-of-seven Baker matches beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

"I'm excited to bring a tournament to Youngstown and especially to Holiday Bowl," YSU head coach Doug Kuberski said. "I'm especially happy for our seniors to be able to experience a home tournament for the first time in their careers. I think it will be a lot of fun for fans in the area to experience a collegiate bowling tournament, and I think we have a solid field to compete with."

Holiday Bowl is located at 777 Youngstown-Poland Rd, Struthers, OH 44471. There will be no admission charge for fans.

Scouting The Field

There will be eight teams in this weekend's field, including three teams ranked in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 25 Poll. Fellow Southland Bowling League member Arkansas State comes in ranked sixth in the preseason poll, Saint Francis U is ranked 16th, and Youngstown State has its highest preseason ranking ever at No. 23. Other teams in the field that are ranked in the D-2/D-3 poll include Medaille College, Kentucky Wesleyan College and Lewis University. The final two teams are Mercyhurst, which is competing in its first tournament ever as a first-year program, and Belmont Abbey.

Penguin Playbook Interviews

Head Coach Doug Kuberski

Penguin News & Notes

High Expectations: YSU enters the 2019-20 campaign with lofty goals for year four of the program. Four of the top five bowlers from last season, including three seniors in Rachel Darrow, Ashley Kolb and Nikki Mendez who have been with the program since its inception. YSU went 28-25 in head-to-head matches in the spring once Kuberski took over as head coach, and three of those wins were over top-five ranked teams. The Penguins added four talented newcomers to the group, including Division I transfers Sarah Florence and Emma Wrenn. Youngstown State has its highest preseason ranking at No. 23 in the NTCA Preseason Poll.

Kuberski: "We have pretty high expectations for this year. We had a strong finish in the spring, and I think we've been able to continue the growth through the summer and preseason. We expect to contend in every tournament. It won't be easy, but we feel like we have the talent to be in the hunt every time we take the lanes."

Strength of Southland: The 2019-20 season will be YSU's second as members of the Southland Bowling League, and the conference is loaded once again as seven of the eight teams in the SBL are ranked in the preseason top 25. Vanderbilt is No. 1, and Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston and Arkansas State are also in the top 10. Stephen F. Austin won the national championship in 2019, and a Southland member has won four of the last six national titles.

Up Next

Youngstown State will compete at the Mount Shootout on Oct. 19-20. The tournament will be hosted at Terrace Lanes in Fredrick, Md., by Mount St. Mary's.