April 04, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Pikeville (Ky.) Bears claimed their first NAIA women's bowling championship on Sunday with a 3-0, 3-0 sweep of No. 1 seed Webber International (Fla.).
The Warriors sent the Bears into the contender's bracket on Sunday morning with a 3-1 win. The Bears survived Ashford (Iowa) University 3-2 to reach the championship round and then won 3-0 to force a final, deciding round for the title.
“One of our goals this season was to get back here and win this tournament,” said Coach Ron Damron, who has led Pikeville to two USBC titles. “This may be an 'invitational' tournament for now, but it's still a national title. We're really proud of our ladies and will consider them national champions.”
Bowling is considered an emerging sport in the NAIA, meaning not enough schools are participating to be considered a championship sport. With 50 teams needed to be a championship sport, there are 35 women's teams and 36 men's teams competing during the 2011-12 academic year.
The Bears knocked off Webber 166-135, 195-144 and 204-195 to claim the crown.
UPIKE had three open frames in the first game but saw the Warriors leave six empty. But junior Brandy Hensley and senior Kim Yioulos doubled in frames 9-10 to insure the Bears of the win. Five strikes made the second game a little easier, as Yioulos rolled two to lead the way for the 195-144.
Like sharks who could smell blood in the water, the Bears stormed out in the final game with five-consecutive strikes and survived two open frames in the second half for the title.
Yioulos had four strikes in the final round and was named to the five-player all-tournament team. Senior Natasha Martin and sophomore Christina Halen had three each, while senior Megan Kyle and junior Brandy Hensley had two each.
Pikeville will now prepare for the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships, which will be held April 19-21 in Lincoln, Neb.
UPIKE 3, Webber 0: The Bears bounced back with a sweep of the Warriors to force a deciding best-of-five round for the title.
Pikeville won 209-179, 219-175 and 216-181.
In the three games, the Bears rolled 15 strikes and left only a single frame opener. Yioulos had five strikes in her six frames, while Halen tossed four. Martin rolled three while Hensley added two and Kyle one.
UPIKE 3, Ashford 2: Why is Kim Yioulos the NAIA Bowler of the Year? For moments like this: The senior from Rochester, N.Y., rolled the only Pikeville strike of Game Five on the fill ball to give her team a 184-183 win and send it to the championship round with a 3-2 win.
Pikeville posted 10 spares in the final game, but a double in 8-9 by the Saints and a spare in the 10th set the stage. After watching freshman Trisha Zimmerman roll a strike on her own fill ball, the senior calmly stepped to the approach needing nine to force a sudden-death playoff and 10 for the win, and calmly mowed them all down.
All five games were won on the left lane. Pikeville opened with a 181-165 win before being beaten 209-183 in a game that saw Ashford roll six strikes. In game three the Bears had a turkey in frames 3-4-5 and rolled to a 212-167 win before the Saints rebounded with strikes on their final four balls to win game four 225-205.
Pikeville rolled 16 strikes and left only five frames unfilled and were led by Hensley's seven strikes. Yioulos had four, as neither had an open frame in the contest.
Halen added three strikes while Kyle and sophomore Ashley Copley had one each.
Webber 3, UPIKE 1: Webber International threw 17 strikes and left open only one from in the final three games to move into the championship round.
After Pikeville opened with a 195-183 win, the Warriors advanced by winning 214-206, 214-195 and 243-211. UPIKE lost a match in which it left only three frames open in four games and struck 18 times.
Pikeville took advantage of three open frames by Webber with five strikes to win 195-183. The Bears stepped up with five more strikes in the second but Webber matched that to win. Webber doubled twice in the third and managed only two strikes but filled every frame in a loss. The Warriors were open in the first frame of the fourth but struck five straight and eight of the last nine to close the deal.
Martin led the Bears with five strikes in the block. Kyle rolled four while Yioulos, Hensley and Halen had three apiece.