Making its second straight postseason appearance, the Waldorf University men’s bowling team showed progress during this weekend’s United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Intercollegiate Team Sectionals.
The Warriors, who placed 18th, closed out the two-day tournament with a 64-game baker total of 11,395 on Sunday. They climbed two spots in the team standings and improved by 320 pins on last year’s performance, which marked the program’s first-ever postseason berth.’
The two-day tournament came on the heels of Friday’s USBC Intercollegiate Singles Sectionals.
“Everyone had a lot of ups and downs in the tournament,” Waldorf coach Joe Squires said. “It was a marathon of bowling.”
Four of the tournament’s 23 teams entered Saturday seeking national tournament berths.
“After five hours and six games for single qualifiers, there were two days with eight hours of non-stop bowling for four spots out of 23 teams,” Squires said. “It is hard to describe the grind required to compete in this atmosphere. We are learning and making improvements to make a better run at nationals.”
Senior Nicholas Heimerman, junior Michael Templin, sophomores Roger Harford, Damon Helgevold, Tanner Schmitz and Kyle Swiderski contributed to the team total for the Warriors on the lanes of the Stardust Bowl of Addison.
“We had to fight our attitudes that fluctuated when we would miss easy shots and learn how to naturally be positive with ourselves,” Squires said. “We build up our teammates, but are overly hard upon our personal performance. I was proud to see the improvement, but we have work to do before we can feel satisfied.”
Top-ranked Robert Morris University won the sectional championship with 13,183 pins. Ninth-ranked Morehead State University (12,967) claimed second, No. 5 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (12,847) secured third and No. 14 William Penn University (12,817) locked up fourth to earn the final bid to the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships, scheduled for April 19-22 at Baton Rouge, La.
Fifth place went to No. 20 Grand View University (12,745), No. 17 University of St. Francis (12,394) took sixth while Davenport University (12,246), Concordia University (12,179), Mount Mercy University (12,170) and Highland Community College (12,041) rounded out the top 10 of the team standings.
Waldorf held 11th with a 2,943-pin total through the first 16 games and ended the opening day with a score of 5,760 to sit in an 18th-place tie with Michigan State University. The Warriors registered a 5,635 team total during the final 32 games on Sunday.
In its seventh year as a program, Waldorf entered the postseason ranked 52nd nationally out of 169 teams. It’s the second-highest ranking in school history for the Warriors after finishing 83rd two seasons ago.
The postseason continues for Waldorf later this month as the Warriors make their first-ever appearance in the three-day National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Invitational Team Championships, beginning on March 31 at Lexington, Ky.