|A-State Bowling Eliminated from NCAA Tournament|
WICKLIFFE, Ohio. (4/13/12) – The Arkansas State bowling team was eliminated from the NCAA Bowling Tournament after three matches in bracket play on Friday.
The Red Wolves suffered a 4-1 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson in the opening round of bracket play, but battled back to defeat Central Missouri in 4-3 in the next round. In the third round A-State forced a sixth game after rallying from 3-0 deficit against Vanderbilt, but could complete the comeback and lost 4-2 to the Commodores.
“We just got behind and we got behind in every match we had today,” ASU bowling head coach Justin Kostick said. “We lost every first game in all of our matches and it’s tough to continue to comeback time after time. We gave it a really strong effort against Vanderbilt, but just came up short.”
Against Central Missouri the Red Wolves went down 3-1, but rallied in games 5, 6 and 7 to stave off elimination. In the fifth game Amanda Labossiere hit all three strikes in the tenth frame to give ASU a 223-213 victory. In the sixth game A-State faced elimination again heading into the tenth frame, but the Jennies failed to convert on a spare attempt and which gave ASU the 187-176 victory.
In the seventh game the Red Wolves had the lane choice after winning game six and choose to flip the lanes forcing both sides to make adjustments during the game. The move paved off and the Red Wolves emerged with a 204-191 victory and took the match 4-3.
“My coaching philosophy is to always flip the lanes,” Kostick said. “I feel like we make moves better than anybody in the country and we can adjust to lanes so we want the other team to make adjustments too.”
In the match against Vanderbilt the Red Wolves fell behind early and despite a late rally could not overcome the deficit. Vanderbilt jumped out in front with a 235-212 victory in the first game and edged out a 226-219 win in game two and then took game 212-194 to go up 3-0 in the match.
ASU regrouped and won game four 214-176 and then edged out a 199-193 victory in game five behind a strong game from Labossiere. The sophomore hit two strikes in the tenth frame to clinch the win. The rally fell short in the sixth game, however, as ASU faltered and left an open frame that allowed Vanderbilt to pull away with a 203-189 victory.
Against Fairleigh Dickinson in the day’s first match ASU started slowly and lost the first game 215-180. The Red Wolves rebounded in the second game, winning 245-225, with strikes from Ashley Rucker, Emily Troutman, Sarah Lokker and Rachael Gittings in a row and closed out the game with three strikes in the tenth frame from Amanda Labossiere.
The third game proved to be the turning point in the match. In the first five frames ASU hit on four strikes and had the lead going into the tenth frame. However, the Red Wolves struggled in the tenth frame, while the Knights surged and won 248-247.
Fairleigh Dickinson carried the momentum into game four, while ASU continued to struggle and left two open frames in the game. The Knights capitalized on the opportunity and earned a 224-184 victory. In the fifth game FDU again capitalized on ASU miscues as the Knights won 233-205 and knocked ASU into the bottom half of the bracket.
“We had a really good year,” Kostick said. “We were ranked No. 1 coming into this thing and I felt were the No. 1 team with the way we finished at all of our tournaments throughout the year. It was just one of those things where it is just really tough to lose.”
ASU finished the year with a 90-38 record and the most wins in school history. It also marked the first time the team had three players selected to the NTCA All-America team.