Number seven nationally ranked Mount Bowling co-hosted the Northeast Invite along with Chestnut Hill College on Feb. 5 and 6 at 30 Strikes Lanes in Stratford, New Jersey. The two tournament, two-day event consisted of a baker format on Friday and a traditional format on Saturday.
Friday’s baker play was led by Tamera Stanton (C ‘22). The NTCA All-American averaged a 22.65 (226.5 per game equivalent) over 25 baker games. Stanton’s efforts helped elevate the Mount to a 4-1 win-loss record on the day and a second-place finish in total pin count. The only loss of the day was from number 15 nationally ranked Delaware State University, edging out the Mountaineers by four pins. Although, the team rallied to overcome the next four opponents, including two conference foes, Long Island University (985-818) and number 17 nationally ranked Duquesne University (1026-969). The team’s final total of 4,906 pins (196.2 per game average), was not enough to catch up to the North Carolina A&T Aggies, who held the lead throughout the entirety of the tournament.
In an interview with Mount Athletics, Head Coach Kenneth DeGraaf stated, “The start we had today was unacceptable, but the response this team showed from match two onward is how championship teams respond. Without a doubt the emphasis tomorrow will be a stronger start. I am proud on how this team continues to show resilience in every situation imaginable. If we can clean up some silly mistakes and show up in match one, I think tomorrow can be a special day for us.”
The second tournament of the weekend met the Mount with another slow start against Delaware State, but the Mountaineers overcame the Hornets this time around (937-932). The Mount’s only loss of the day came from unranked Bloomfield College. The bears shot their highest set of the day, shooting 925-894 and earning their first top-10 nationally ranked win. Although, the Mount came back in typical Mount fashion, defeating number 13 nationally ranked North Carolina A&T 994-914 and bowling their highest set of the day. Alyssa Alexander (C’24) had the highest 5-game set on the team, averaging 205.2 and placing fourth on the All-Tournament Team.
Unfortunately, the bracket play portion of the tournament, scheduled for Sunday morning, was cancelled Saturday night due to threats of a snowstorm affecting the east coast. The final tournament results were based off of Saturday’s qualifying, leaving Mount St. Mary’s in fourth place behind North Carolina A&T, Duquesne, and Delaware State. If Sunday was not cancelled, the team would have had the opportunity to win their third tournament championship of the short regular season.
The team is in action for the next three weekends competing in post-season conference play and vying for a spot at the NCAA National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Live streaming is always available on the Mount Bowling Facebook page.