SINKING SPRING, Pa. - - The Wilmington University women's bowling team started the 2019-20 season with a record-breaking Sunday, finishing fourth overall in the Traditional portion of the Bud Whitman Memorial at the Colonial-Berks Lane.
The fourth place finish is the highest finish in a field of 14 for the Wildcats, now in its fourth season of competition. They averaged a match average of 943.40 in the five matches, while breaking the program record for traditional match totals twice on the day. The three teams that finished ahead of the Wildcats on Sunday are all ranked nationally according to the National Tenpin Coaches Association.
The day started with a victory over nationally No. 24 Long Island University, 918-886. The Wildcats then broke the record for fallen pins with another victory in the second match, defeating Molloy, 990-938. The Wildcats dropped their third match of the day to Kutztown, 877-831, but rebounded nicely to close out the day.
In the fourth match of the day, the Wildcats again broke the program record for fallen pins in a traditional match, and became the first team in program history to eclipse the 1,000-pin mark in a traditional contest. They defeated Caldwell, 1017-835, to move their record to 3-1 on the day. The Wildcats finished strong, but dropped the final match of the day to second place finishers and nationally No. 21 Mount St. Mary's, 990-961, to finish 3-2 on the day.
Junior Rachel Hirst led the Wildcats on Sunday, finishing 13th overall with a five-match average of 202.20. She became the second bowler in program history to collect over 1,000 pins in a five-match day, setting a new personal mark of 1,011 pins. She had a day's high 232 against Molloy, but also collected a 231 against Caldwell and a 201 against LIU. Her two best showings Sunday rank sixth and seventh best for individual scores in program history.
Junior Bailey Peters finished 16th overall with a total of 969 pins on the day. She averaged a 193.80 for the day, the sixth best afternoon for a Wildcat in program history. Her best match came with a 217 against Molloy while she also bowled a 212 against Mount St. Mary's.
Junior Malia Stout made it three Wildcats inside the top 18 with an 18th place finish, knocking down 963 pins in five matches for a 192.60 average, ranking seventh best in program history. She had three games of 200 or more on Sunday, capping her day with a 223 against Mount St. Mary's. She also bowled a 213 against Caldwell, and started the day with a 205 against LIU.
Bowling in her first collegiate tournament, CC Riojas finished 33rd out of 86 bowlers, knocking down 889 pins for a 177.80 average. She added two more 200-plus matches, collecting a day's high 209 against Caldwell. She also bowled a 204 against Molloy on the day.
Fellow freshman KC Miller nearly matched Riojas on Sunday, finishing 35th overall with a total of 885 pins for a 177.00 average. She led the team with her 201 against Kutztown, getting her first 200-game out of the way in her first collegiate tournament.
Nationally No. 20 Duquesne won the tournament on Sunday, making it a clean sweep of the weekend. They went 5-0 on the day and collected of 5,049 pins. They averaged a 202.00 per game as a team.
Additionally, Duquesne's Olivia Farwell earned top honors by sitting atop the leaderboard at the end of the day. She bowled four games of 200 or more, finishing with a 1,092 total (218.40 average) to win MVP.
The Wildcats will look to keep the momentum from the early season success into next weekend when they head to Maryland to take part in the Mount Shootout hosted by Mount St. Mary's University.