By Justin Sweitzer
The Golden Bears bowling team opened up their season by hosting the KU Fall Baker Invitational where they went undefeated through ten matches over the course of the two-day invite.
The baker-style tournament, which involves teams bowling toward once score, rather than individual scores, took place at Berks Lanes in Reading, Pa. on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18.
The women’s bowling team entered the season ranked 18 in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Preseason Poll, as well as being ranked 19 among all DI, DII and DIII bowling teams.
In the first day of competition, KU lived up to high expectations, defeating Penn State Altoona, Thiel College, Felician College, Howard University and Caldwell University. In addition to the five wins, the Golden Bears finished the first day as one of only three undefeated teams, with the others being Long Island University Brooklyn and Adelphi University.
In the second day of the tournament, KU did not falter from their high level of play from the previous day. It faced St. Francis University in its opening match, defeating them with a score of 898-873. In the second match, the Golden Bears faced LIU Brooklyn in a well-contested meeting, which ended in a tie.
To decide a winner, a five-frame overtime was held. The Golden Bears showed their poise in high-stakes situation by defeating LIU Brooklyn after throwing five straight strikes, three of them coming from senior Lauren Stamm. KU won the tiebreaker 134-96, winning them the match as well.
Following the win against LIU Brooklyn, KU went on to win their next three games, beating St. Francis Brooklyn in two different games, and Delaware State once.
While KU went undefeated, it finished fifth in total pinfall in the tournament. Taylor Strothmann, senior captain, was satisfied with the team’s performance, but sees areas where the team has room for growth.
Strothmann said, “We did a lot of things right this weekend. We were communicating with each other, we had high energy, and we won all of our matches, so I’m really happy with how this weekend went. But there’s always room for improvement. Our spare percentage definitely has to go up. We have to learn how to play different parts of the lanes so we don’t come into competition nervous.”
The women’s bowling team set the bar high with the way they opened the season, and they look to continue on a positive path as the season goes on. “My goal is to be conference champs, make it to NCAA nationals and USBC nationals,” Strothmann said.