Bowling Makes Nationals as Seniors Prepare for Graduation
On the desk of President Timothy Trainor, proudly sits a bowling ball given to him by the highest nationally ranked team at Mount St. Mary’s University.
“It’s crazy to think about being tenth in the nation,” Alyssa Alexander (C’24) said. “No one really knows about the team.”
Every year since their formation in 2018, the Women’s Bowling Team made sectionals for the Intercollegiate Team Championship Nationals. This year marks the second year in a row and the second time they have made it to the ITC Nationals, placing third out of 16 teams.
“Bowling is a unique sport,” stated Kenneth DeGraaf, head coach of the Women’s Bowling Team. “We actually have two National Championships that we compete for.”
The ITCs are different from NCAA. They are sponsored by the United States Bowling Conference, the governing body for the sport of bowling in the country. The ITCs accepts more teams than the NCAA and allows men’s bowling teams and teams from different divisions to compete against each other.
“It’s NCAA teams… NAIA teams… USBC programs, junior college programs [competing in sectionals]... and the best of those teams make it to ITCs,” stated DeGraaf.
Despite the various teams competing in the ITCs, bowlers Alexander and Rebecca Dodson (C’22) agreed that the NCAA is more competitive, while the ITC is less serious. Tamera Stanton (C’22) claimed that they were equally competitive.
When asked his reaction to making it to Nationals, DeGraaf stated he was not surprised, but he was proud of the team. “That’s who we are,” he said.
2022 marks the first year of graduating seniors from the Women’s Bowling Team. “I looked up to them… I strived to be like them… it hurts to think they won’t be there next year,” Alexander said in an interview.
Stanton said that she was “excited to see what happens when we leave.”
“[Graduating] hurts your heart to know you’re leaving something you started,” Dodson stated.
“Each year is a chapter and this is the end of their book,” DeGraaf stated in an interview.