From SFA Athletics
NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)- One year after notching a national runner-up showing, Stephen F. Austin will be returning to the NCAA Bowling Championships. The Ladyjacks were announced as one of the eight teams that qualified for the 2016 Championships, being held April 14-16 in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
“We’re incredibly excited to be one of the eight teams selected to compete in this year’s NCAA Championship,” said head coach Amber Lemke. “Last year was special being the first time we went, but now this year we have an experienced team that has had that experience before. We’ve done everything we can to put ourselves in this position, so now our goal is to learn from last year and try and go even further.”
SFA was announced as the number five seed , two spots better than last season’s seven seed. The seeding comes off a solid season for the Ladyjacks as SFA posted an 81-41 (.664) record on the year and is currently ranked fifth in the latest NTCA coaches poll. The Ladyjacks have finished in the top-10 in each of this season’s 11 events, finishing among the top-five on eight occasions.
Along with the Ladyjacks, seven other teams will make the trip to New Jersey competing for the title. Nebraska, the reigning champion, earned the number one seed, followed by Arkansas State, Vanderbilt, Sam Houston State, McKendree, Central Missouri and North Carolina A&T.
SFA will look to build on last season’s success as the Ladyjacks made a run to the championship match. Entering the tournament as the number seven seed, SFA went 6-1 in pool play, earning the top overall seed for the double elimination bracket play, eliminating Fairleigh-Dickinson and Wisconsin-Whitewater before falling to Nebraska.
Once again, the Southland Bowling League flexed its muscles as one of the top bowling conferences in the nation, qualifying four of the eight teams in the NCAA tournament. SFA is joined by Arkansas State, Vanderbilt and Sam Houston State, all four of which will make a return trip to the NCAA Championship.
The Ladyjacks have gone head-to-head against each of the other seven qualifiers this season, posting a combined overall record of 20-26. SFA has recorded five wins each against McKendree (5-1) and North Carolina A&T (5-2) and has gone 4-7 against Nebraska, facing them a season-high 11 times in 2015-16.
The 2016 NCAA Championships will be hosted by Fairleigh Dickinson of the Northeast Conference, taking place at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, New Jersey. Pool play will get underway Thursday, April 14 and conclude Friday, April 15, leading into the double elimination bracket play Friday afternoon. The championship match will once again be televised on ESPNU at 5:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 16.
2016 NCAA Bowling Championship Participants
2. Arkansas State
4. Sam Houston State
5. Stephen F. Austin
7. Central Missouri
8. North Carolina A&T