HAMILTON, N.J. – The Wilmington University bowling team opened the Hawk Flight Invite with a 4-1 record in Baker matches on Friday, setting two new Baker match team records while placing fourth overall in the tournament hosted by Monmouth University.
The Wildcats had one of their best days on the lanes in program history on Friday, finishing three matches with more than 1,000 pins while their day's low was a 922. The Wildcats are in fourth place with a 5,215 total pinfall on the day, shooting a 208.6 per game average.
No. 10 Duquesne leads the way after Friday, bowling all five matches with 1,000 or more pins for a total of 5,584 (223.4 average). Fourth ranked Vanderbilt is second with a total pinfall of 5,274 while No. 2 Sam Houston State is third overall with a total pinfall of 5,254.
The Wildcats started the day with a 961-639 victory over New Jersey City, and then got in their groove. They set a new Baker match record with a 1,091-1,032 victory over Caldwell, and then backed that up with what would have been a record 1,071-990 victory over nationally ranked No. 17 Fairleigh Dickinson. Taking it one step more, the Wildcats then broke the program's Baker match score once again with a 1,170-898 victory over Mercyhurst.
They couldn't keep the momentum going into the final match of the day however, as No. 10 Duquesne beat the Wildcats, 1,041-922.
The Wildcats had two opportunities throughout the day to bowl a 300 game as a team, but came up just short in their efforts on the 12th bowl. In the first game against Caldwell, CC Riojas connected with strikes on bowls 10 and 11, but couldn't find the magic again as the team finished with a 295. Then in their fourth game against Mercyhurst, the Wildcats did it again with all strikes before handing it over to their anchor. Looking for redemption, Riojas again put down all 10 pins on bowls 10 and 11, but two stubborn pins stayed up on her 12th bowl, finishing with a 298.
The Wildcats will look to stay hot as they head into Saturday's Traditional matches. They square off against No. 4 Vanderbilt, Felician, No. 22 Monmouth, No. 25 Long Island, and St. Francis (N.Y.) at the Hamilton Lanes.