8th-seeded ’Hawks take third in NCAA Regionals

April 15, 2015 By Josh Sinclair

For a second straight season, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s bowling team finished third among eight teams in the NCAA Championships.

The ’Hawks were seeded eighth after the qualifying round but rallied late in the tournament and with its defeat of Arkansas State, the ’Hawks were able to take home third.

“This team is something special, being the only D-III School competing in the NCAA championship is tough, but each and every year we prove that we belong,” senior Dayna Mackie said.

Head coach Leann Eimermann was named Co-Division II/III Coach of the Year by the National Tenpin Coaches Association at the banquet prior to the competition.

The Warhawks started the tournament with a big win over No. 1-ranked Stephen F. Austin. The ’Hawks are led by freshman Julianne Kowalski, who posted a score of 278. Her mark is the third highest individual score in program history.

This was the lone win for the Warhawks in the qualifying round as it was defeated in four of its first five matches on the first day of competition.

The ’Hawks were then seeded eighth overall and had to face top- seed Stephen F. Austin State University once again. The Lumberjacks bested the Warhawks, giving them their first loss of the double elimination tournament.

“This year we may have gotten off to somewhat of a rocky start, and people probably counted us out, but we came together as one and fought back,” Mackie said. “We overcame obstacles that were put in our way and refused to give up.”

The Warhawks bounced back from the first-round loss to defeat Vanderbilt University 4-3.5 in extra frames. UW-Whitewater fell behind 2-0 in the match losing the first two games, but recovered to even the score 2-2.

In an unusual event, sophomore Amanda Van Duyn and her opponent both rolled a 224 and tied, creating extra frames where UW-W struck out on four of the first five frames to take the victory.

“This years, NCAA Championships were once again an experience I will never forget,” Mackie said. “With matches that were like nothing I have never seen before and intense situations, it was really fun.”

Whitewater then faced the Lumberjacks in two more consecutive matches making it a total of four games played against the Lumberjacks. The ’Hawks took the first match 4-2, but were defeated by the same score the second time.

UW-W ended 2-2 against Stephen F. Austin who finished as the National runner-ups in the tournament.

In its final match, the Warhawks defeated Arkansas State 4-0 to take third overall.

“This years team is outstanding, talented and strong,” Mackie said. “We learned how to be one together and be intense. We were eight girls deep this year and they will continue to do great things next year.”

The Warhawks will compete in the USBC Collegiate Championships April 15 through 18 in Wichita, Kansas.

“I could not be any more proud of what we accomplished and am ecstatic to be bringing home another semi-finalist finish to UW-Whitewater,” Mackie said.

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