Tulane begins season with Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Bowling Invitational
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The No. 14 Tulane bowling team begins the season this week by hosting the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Bowling Invitational this Friday-Sunday at Colonial Lanes in Harahan.
The three-day event gets underway Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. with five five-game Baker matches, moving to Saturday’s five traditional team matches at 8:30 a.m.
Sunday concludes the tournament beginning at 8:30 a.m., with the bracket finals to determine the overall tournament team champion and final standings.
Each day of the event will be streamed online via Tulane All-Access at TulaneGreenWave.com.
Tulane returns four members from the team that finished last season with a 66-56 overall record in the 2018-19 season, where the squad was 26-20 in Baker competitions and 32-18 in the traditional team format matches. The Green Wave had seven top 10 finishes on the campaign last year, advancing to the second day of the Southland Bowling League Championship to close out the year.
“The team has had the best work ethic that I’ve ever seen in the nine years that I’ve been here. The team has come together and has a really good dynamic both on and off the lanes,” head coach Hayley Veitch said. “They really work hard and hold each other up in practice. They don’t clock watch, they just keep going until practice is over and they want more. Something that champions always desire to have is more time.”
The seven-team squad will be led by a pair of upperclassmen in senior Isabelle Lee and junior Madison McCall. The team returns both newcomers from last season in sophomores Crystal Singh and Veronica Petrinec, while adding three key signees in freshmen Jenica Baron, Kylie Frick and Amelia Vasquez.
Lee is in her swan song season in her fourth year as a member of the Green Wave, as last year the Singapore native rolled 39 games and knocked down 7,301 pins for an average of 187.20. Lee’s high game for the season last year was a 247 against UMES at the KU Invitational.
McCall, who had an outstanding summer where she finished 25th in the country at the 2019 USBC Junior Gold event, returns as the team’s most decorated returner after being an honorable mention all-league selection by the SBL. The former All-American was second on the team with 8,930 pins knocked down and an individual average of 194.13.
Participating in all but three games last season, Singh knocked down 8,151 pins in 43 games in her inaugural season which was third on the squad. Petrinec competed in 38 games and knocked down 7,015 pins for an average of 184.60 and rolled a high game of 246.
The highly decorated newcomers will bolster the team’s depth, while bringing championship flare to a squad looking to compete for a conference title when the calendar turns to 2020.
Baron was a four-time Mid-Suburban League selection, as in the final two years of her prep career she ranked in the top 10 in pin average.
Fellow Illinois product and MSL competitor Frick was the scoring champ for the league as a senior, as for four years helped lead her team to the state finals where as a junior they earned their highest finish of third place.
A state champion for two years running at Oviedo High School in Florida, Vasquez is coming off a summer where her high school team finished seventh at the U.S. High School National Championships and she placed 13th overall individually, while Baron finished 14th.
The 16-team event will help open the NCAA Bowling season with a bang as the 16-team invitational features nine teams currently ranked in the NTCA Top 25, with seven teams ranked in the top 15 of the preseason poll.
The top two spots belong to top-ranked and last year’s national runner-up Vanderbilt, with reigning national champion and preseason No. 2 team Stephen F. Austin. Sam Houston State joins the fray at No. 5, followed by No. 7 Maryland Eastern Shore and No. 8 North Carolina A&T.
Lincoln Memorial out of Harrogate, Tennessee, is at No. 13 and one spot ahead of Tulane, followed by last year’s ASBCBI champions Louisiana Tech at No. 17. UAB is the final ranked team in the tournament this weekend coming in at No. 19.
The rest of the field consists of Alabama State, Grambling, Jackson State, Southern, Texas Southern, first-year program Tusculum and Valparaiso.
“It’s all about the experience and having fun. It’s not so much about going in to win as much as it is about feeding off each other, understanding lane play and enjoying the experience,” Veitch said. “We know we’re going to have a lot of people supporting us, and for us its knowing that the more fun we’re having the better we’ll be at executing our overall plan.”
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