From SFA Athletics
The SFA bowling team’s bid for a second NCAA national title and quest for the school’s second Division I team national championship will continue Thursday morning as the Ladyjacks are set to take on fourth-ranked Sam Houston State in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship first round at RollHouse Wickliffe in Wickliffe, Ohio.
Making its fourth appearance at the NCAA Championship, SFA is one of four Southland Bowling League teams vying for a national title at the eight-team final site. The first round match between the Ladyjacks and Bearkats will begin at 8 a.m. CST Thursday, April 11 on lanes to be determined. The mega match can be streamed live via NCAA.com, while the NCAA Championship’s program can be found here. The three-day national championship will be played out Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13 just outside of Cleveland at the NCAA Bowling Championship’s final site in Wickliffe.
The Mid-American Conference and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission are the hosts of the national championship. Tickets for the championship can be purchased on NCAA.com prior to the championship. The championship bracket is double-elimination, with each round consisting of a best-of-three mega match that includes the use of three team game formats - Baker total pinfall, five-person traditional team and a best-of-seven Baker match. The champion will be determined using a best-of-seven Baker match. The championship final will air at 5:30 p.m. CST, Saturday, April 13
The Ladyjacks, who are ranked No. 6 in both the NCAA’s RPI and the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) Top 25 poll, will begin championship bracket play with a familiar foe after having faced the Bearkats six times during the regular season. The two teams split the six regular-season matches with SFA claiming victories over Southland Bowling League champion Sam Houston State at both the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Invitational and the Prairie View A&M Invitational. The Ladyjacks won both of the traditional team matches bowled against the Bearkats this season and took one of two best-of-seven Baker matches. At the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Invitational held in New Orleans back in October, SFA picked up two match wins over Sam Houston State. The Ladyjacks won a 938-902 traditional team match and then defeated the Bearkats 4-1 in the opening round of bracket play.
More recently, SFA notched a 950-902 traditional team match win against Sam Houston State at the Prairie View A&M Invitational (Feb. 2) in Arlington, Texas. This past Friday, the Ladyjacks knocked out Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Prairie View A&M in the opening round at Emerald Bowl in Houston. SFA needed just the traditional team match (843-781) and the Baker total pinfall match (921-833) to take down the host Lady Panthers, 2-0, in the mega match. The 2019 NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship field is comprised of 12 teams with eight schools rewarded automatic qualification through conference championships. The Ladyjacks were one of four NCAA national title contenders who received an at-large selection. Ranked No. 1 in the NCAA’s RPI rankings, Vanderbilt joined second-ranked McKendree, fourth-ranked Sam Houston State and third-ranked Nebraska as the four teams placed in the championship bracket in Ohio. The remaining eight teams competed in opening round matches April 5-7. Opening round teams and matchups were determined by the NCAA women’s bowling committee based on selection criteria and geography.
Up Next…With a first round victory Thursday morning, the Ladyjacks will face either No. 2 seed and second-ranked McKendree or eighth-ranked Maryland-Eastern Shore in the second round Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. CST in match six of the NCAA Bowling Championship. With a first round setback, SFA will take on either McKendree or Maryland-Eastern Shore in the elimination bracket, also at 2 p.m. Thursday. Stay tuned to SFAJacks.com, as well as SFA’s social media platforms, for complete coverage of Ladyjack bowling throughout the spring.