NACOGDOCHES, Texas - After two years of just missing out on the NCAA Championship, Stephen F. Austin will now have its shot at a national title, selected as one of eight teams to compete in the 2015 NCAA Bowling Championship.
"It felt great to see our name finally pop up on that screen," said head coach Amber Lemke. "All the hard work and sacrifices the team has made over the years, and after just missing out the last two years, it's a relief."
The Ladyjacks will be the number seven seed in next month's championships, taking place April 9-11 at the Tropicana Lanes in Richmond Heights, Missouri. SFA is one of four Southland Bowling League schools to comprise the field, joined by third-seeded Arkansas State, fourth-seeded Vanderbilt and sixth-seeded Sam Houston State.
SFA is making its first appearance in the national tournament and is currently ranked fifth in the latest NTCA Coaches Poll. The Ladyjacks are coming off a fifth-place showing at the Southland Bowling Championship, posting its sixth top-five finish on the year.
Competition begins with qualifying rounds in which each team bowls one five-person regular team game against each of the other seven participating teams. Teams will be seeded for bracket play based on their win-loss record during the qualifying rounds.
At the conclusion of the qualifying rounds, teams will then compete in best-of-seven Baker matches in the double elimination tournament. In the Baker format, each of the five team members, in order, bowls a complete frame until a complete (10-frame) game is bowled. A Baker match tied at 31/2 a piece after seven games will be decided by a tiebreaker using the Modified Baker format.
Stay tuned to @SFA_Bowling on Twitter as well as SFAJacks.com for all the latest regarding the Ladyjacks' quest for a national title.
2015 NCAA Bowling Championship Field1. Nebraska2. Fairleigh Dickinson3. Arkansas State4. Vanderbilt5. Central Missouri6. Sam Houston State7. Stephen F. Austin8. Wisconsin-Whitewater
Courtesy: SFA Athletics