R.I.T./Fresno Top St. Louis
Rochester Institute of Technology and Fresno State captured
the 1998 St. Louis Match Games Championship. The R.I..T. quint went to the wire to take
the Men's title while the Fresno Women went into semi cruise control early in the
tournament for their title. The R.I.T. championship may come as a big surprise for many,
but not from this view. The Rochester quint was close to being a National contender a year
ago. Add another year of experience and a couple more players and your not just close, but
there. The Fresno women return everyone from a year ago including Keli Rapp, who owns
Strike and Spare Lanes. This was the third year in four trips the former Erie C.C. player
and Collegiate Player of the Year has won the St. Louis All-Events. This time out she
averaged 235.6 for the nine qualifying games edging teammate Pam Inloes by 6 pins.
One thing always remains consistent with the St. Louis event, the scoring is
"Disneyland". If a player tells you their team didn't do as well as they could
have because they couldn't carry, they were probably telling the truth this time. There
were also teams in the field that had career tournaments because they carried.
Sometimes this tournament brings about some big surprises on one side or the other, but
this year seemed pretty true. On the men's side CMSU, Saginaw, William Patterson and
Nebraska rounded out the top five, all capable of being there. One glitch was possibly the
20th place finish for Wichita State. On the women's side Morehead, Wichita, Nebraska and
CMSU are givens. Perhaps the 4th place finish of Indiana State comes as a surprise, but
word earlier was they had improved from a year ago so time will tell.
The WNY contingent had another could have been week-end, similar to the Chicago event.
The Buffalo State Men and the Erie C.C. Women had two games they would like to have over
and once again single pin or two in scratch cost both teams 50 or more in bonus.
The Erie C.C. Men really had a solid tournament. The Kats recorded only 11 misses in
forty five individual games had a low game of 1027 and a high of 1156. This performance in
most tournaments puts you in the money, but in St. Louis the absence of 1200 games
sprinkled either here or there and you finish O.K. But not good enough.
The next big tests will come over the Christmas/New Years break when just about
everyone in the country will be in either Las Vegas or New Jersey. Vegas will host the
Showboat and Sam's Town events while Jersey plays host to the Colgate and the Brunswick
North East. In Jersey look for Saginaw on the men's side and Morehead on the ladies side
to wrap up their automatic berths. Both teams always play well in Jersey. On the West
Coast, Arizona State's women should come out with one of the two berths while the men's
side could be a guess at best.
The National Collegiate Bowling Coaches met in St. Louis for their Annual Meeting and
it was one of the most professional meetings the organization has ever held. Usually this
meeting seems like a get-together to agree to disagree, but not this year. The Coaches
made some strong recommendations to be forwarded to the Collegiate Committee. They voted
to discontinue the automatic berth tournaments next season and qualify the National
finalists through season ending National Qualifier events. Four National Qualifiers held
in March with the top 4 in each advancing to the National Finals. The Association also
voted to change the format for the National Championships; good-bye Step ladder hello
Double elimination. The first 12 games of the Nationals bowled in five man format will
seed the 16 teams into a double elimination bracket. Number one will meet number 16 in the
first match No. 2 will meet No. 15 etc.. If you lose, the best 4 out of 7 Baker Game Match
you go into the losers bracket- two losses and the season is over. Progressive, you better
believe it. Exciting, you better believe it. Can anybody win - got that right - "just
get hot and you have got a shot".