Morningside’s men’s bowling team qualified for the ITC Sectional Tournament for the second year in a row.
Morningside College’s men’s bowling team has qualified for the Intercollegiate Team Championship (ITC) Sectional Tournaments for the second year in a row.
The Mustangs, led by head coach Steve Gonshorowski, will compete in their sectional tournament this Friday through Sunday at Stardust Bowl in Addison, Ill.
Morningside, now in its fourth year of varsity competition, achieved a program first earlier this season when the Mustang men won their first-ever team championship at the Stout State Open in Eau Claire, Wis. Aside from having the high team pin count in the tournament, the Mustangs also triumphed in the single-elimination match play tournament, defeating Waldorf University in the championship match.
Morningside is one of 80 teams from all levels of collegiate bowling that were selected to compete in one of four ITC Sectional Tournaments sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), from which the top four teams from each tourney will advance to the 2017 USBC Intercollegiate National Championships to be held April 19-22 at Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, La.
The Mustangs will be one of 24 teams competing at the Addison sectional to make it the largest of the four sectional tournaments. Twenty teams will compete at a sectional in Allentown, Pa., while the sectional tourneys in Smyrna, Tenn., and Dallas, Texas, each have 18 teams in their fields. The sectional format will consist of 32 Baker games each day on Saturday and Sunday. Total pins for the 64 games will determine the four teams that advance to the national championship event.
Aside from Morningside, the other schools that will compete in the Addison Sectional include Bowling Green State, Campbellsville, Concordia, Davenport, Grand Valley State, Grand View, Highland Community College, Huntington, Illinois State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Morehead State, Mount Mercy, North Dakota State, Purdue, Robert Morris, Saginaw Valley State, St. Francis, Waldorf, William Penn, Wisconsin and Wisconsin-Whitewater.
In addition to the team competition, each sectional will host individual qualifying events on Friday to determine the field for the national singles tournament on April 19-22 in Baton Rouge.
Morningside will be represented by nine male and five female bowlers in the individual competition.
The Mustangs’ competitors in the men’s division will be Dylan Casper, a junior from Sioux City; Alex Eukovich, a junior from Berwyn, Ill.; Tanner Hansel, a sophomore from Sioux City; Brett Hansen, a freshman from Vermillion, S.D.; Matthew Hystad, a freshman from Le Mars, Iowa; Kyle Kommes, a sophomore from Le Mars; Chandler Losing, a sophomore from Yankton, S.D.; Ethan Mikkelson, a freshman from Sioux City; and Cameron Peterson, a freshman from Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Mustangs will be represented in the women’s singles competition by Alexandra Cluck, a freshman from Shenandoah, Iowa; Haley Mathes, a sophomore from Oskaloosa, Iowa; Katie Pearson, a junior from Sioux City; Bailey Portwood, a freshman from Harlan, Iowa; and Emma Sonier, a freshman from Sioux City.
Hystad leads Morningside’s singles competitors in the men’s division with a season’s average of 187.0, followed closely by Eukovich at 184.6 and Hansel at 183.3. Eukovich achieved a program first last season when he finished first in the individual standings at the Hastings College Bronco Open to become the Mustangs’ first-ever tournament individual champion. Casper, who has a 180.5 average, rolled a 267 at this year’s Hastings Bronco Blast for the top individual score among all of the tourney’s competitors.
Sonier leads the Mustang women with an average of 171.8, followed by Mathes at 169.0 and Pearson at 161.6.