CANTON, Mich. - The Adrian College women's bowling team competed in their final AHIBC Conference tournaments this past weekend in Canton, Michigan. In their final regular season tournament, the Lady Bulldogs got off to a slow start and struggled throughout the team game portion of the tournament. They picked it up a bit in the fourth game to shoot a 922 and then bowled pretty well in the baker portion to hold off Alma and take seventh place out of 14 teams.
Sophomore Taylor Ouellette led the team finishing 22nd with an average of 195.5. Junior Nicole Loomis also had a good tournament finishing 26th averaging a 193.75 for four games. "While we would have liked to finish higher, we knew it was going to be a tough tournament for us to score on due to the short oil pattern that was used. Most of our conference opponents score really well on short, while we score better on the medium to long oil patterns. We just tried to keep pace and made sure that we ended with a good baker set to give us some confidence heading into the conference championships on Sunday," said head coach Jody Fetterhoff.
For the conference championships the team was seeded sixth out of 12 teams. Their seeding was based off of their finishes in the previous conference tournaments. In the first match of a double-elimination bracket the team would bowl No. 11 seed Michigan State University in a best-of-five game baker match. The team put together a great three games, easily defeating Michigan State University to move on to face the No. 3 seeded Bowling Green State University ranked 14th in the nation.
Both teams battled back and forth in a very close match that came down to Adrian's anchor bowler Loomis. Loomis spared and got good count on her fill ball to win the first match 179-176. In the second game, Adrian went off, stringing together a five-bagger in the middle of the game to defeat Bowling Green, 236-160. Determined to win the match and move on, Adrian got hot again firing off six strikes in a row to win 238-180 and move onto the next round in the winner's bracket.
Adrian got off to a rough start in their next match where they faced the No. 7 seed Lawrence Tech losing by a single pin 153-152. The team quickly rebounded to tie up the match winning the second game, 183-160. Both teams battled to take the lead and this time Loomis struck to win the game, 182-181. Adrian used another string of strikes to win the fourth game, 189-163, and move on to face the No. 1 seed, Notre Dame College, ranked eighth in the nation.
The team left some costly splits as Notre Dame took the first game, 179-147. Despite shooting a better game, Adrian lost game two, 223-182. Adrian came fighting back to force another game winning the third game, 189-151. Notre Dame quickly closed the door winning game four, 195-156, to win the match knocking Adrian into the loser's bracket.
Adrian had to sit back and watch several matches as they waited for their next opponent to win their way through the Loser's bracket. Finally, the team would take on the No. 9 seed Youngstown State in a best-of-three baker game match. Youngstown took the early lead winning game one, 177-163. Adrian facing elimination, fought back to tie up the match winning game two, 213-158. The team got off to another good start and held off Youngstown to win the deciding game, 180-166. With the win, Adrian would face Notre Dame again but this time for the conference championship.
Both teams threw good games but Notre Dame took game one, 203-192. Each team struggled early in the second game, but soon they both began trading strikes. Adrian fired off four but it wasn't enough as Notre Dame struck more to win 223-191. Adrian finished the third game first, shooting a 178, forcing Notre Dame's anchor to need a double in the tenth for the win. She responded and struck out for the win, 187-178. Adrian took second place for the second week in a row with this being their best finish at the conference championships in program history.
"I'm very happy with how great we have been bowling in our baker matches and to take second place in a field with four teams all ranked top 20 in the nation is huge accomplishment. Hopefully we can use this momentum and have strong performances in our final three regular season tournaments of the year," explained Fetterhoff.