Bowlers take fifth in New Jersey

By Ashley  McCallum Nov. 5, 2014

The UW-Whitewater women’s bowling team took home a fifth place finish from the New Jersey Jamboree last Sunday, after being ranked eighth in the first round of the NTCA Coaches Poll for 2014.

The ’Hawks went 11-2 for the tournament losing only to tournament champion, seventh ranked Farleigh Dickinson State, and No. 20 Monmouth University.

Friday was the first day of match-play where the ’Hawks went 5-0 with wins against No. 12 Kutztown University, St. Francis Brooklyn, St. Peter’s University, fifth-ranked University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and Adelphi University (UMES).

UMES has won two NCAA National Championships as well as two USBC National Championships since 2011. The ’Hawks won 1,019-923 in their Friday match-up and 4-2 in baker matches on Sunday, making a great start for the ‘Hawks’ season.

“We always look forward to competing against the people who are above us in the rankings,” said sophomore starter Taylor Hoppe. “We look forward to playing UMES again because we beat them twice now, and Arkansas because they are usually really fun to bowl against.”

The ’Hawks sat in sixth place with a 4,685 total pinfall going into Saturday’s matches. The team saw its two losses on Saturday as well as wins against Long Island University-Brooklyn, 19th ranked Delaware State University and Caldwell University. The ’Hawks took a bye from New Jersey City University due to an ineligible player on NJCU’s roster.

Sunday’s competition consisted of three bracketed, best of seven matches in baker format. The ’Hawks won all three of their Sunday matches, winning 4-2 against North Carolina A&T State University and UMES and sweeping ninth ranked Stephen F. Austin for the fifth place match.

Twenty-six teams competed in the Jamboree and of the 26, half were nationally ranked.

“I am ecstatic about our 5th place finish,” freshman Julianne Kowalski said. “I’ve never felt more as a team than I did with these girls. We worked as a team all three days, never giving up and that’s what teamwork is all about.”

Kowalski led the team individually with a 203.3 average for her first tournament with the ’Hawks.

“Being a collegiate athlete is very different than being a high school athlete,” Kowalski said. “I am going into this new experience with an open mind hoping for nothing but the best from everyone on and off the lanes.”

The ’Hawks lost five seniors after the 2013-14 season including All-American Ashley Bell and DII/DIII National Tenpin Coaches Association Player of the Year and Second Team All-American Katie Zwiefelhofer, who have both come back to the team as assistant coaches for the 2014-15 season alongside returning head coach Leann Eimermann.

“There is definitely a different team chemistry compared to last year,” Hoppe said. “We are all talented, but I think – this year compared to last year – we have more communication. We are more together and we are ready to get to our main goal which is to get back to nationals this year.”

This year’s team is younger than before, but has experienced bowlers as well. Sophomore Amanda Van Duyn ended last season as the DII/DIII Rookie of the Year and earned Honorable Mention All-American honors. She averaged a 189.45 at the N.J. Jamboree and has taken over the anchor position for the team.

Also returning to the team with varsity experience is Hoppe, Watson, senior Dayna Mackie and junior Lindsay Rusch.

The ’Hawks will travel to Valparaiso, Indiana for the Crusader Classic this weekend where they hope to beat their fifth place Crusader Classic finish last season.

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