MOLINE, Ill. — The William Penn men's bowling team turned in their best performance of the season this weekend at the ISYL Leatherneck Classic.
The Statesmen came away with a first place finish, earning their first tournament victory of the season after defeating 42 other teams over the two-day contest.
Leading the individual efforts for the men was Rok Kostric (Sr., Koper, Slovenia, Sports Management), who placed 16th among the 421 bowler field. He tallied a six game total of 1,319 pins, good for an average of 220. Aleksander Kostric (Sr., Koper, Slovenia, Sports Management) also turned in a strong performance, finishing 33rd with a pin count of 1,268.
Brandon Freese (Sr., Marshalltown, Iowa, Software Engineering) was the next highest finisher for the varsity squad. He took 60th after knocking down 1,235 pins, with Coleton Jacobson (So., West Jordan, Utah, Exercise Science) finishing behind him in 93rd after knocking down 1,184 pins. Jayson Miner (Sr., Silvis, Ill., Business Management) rounded out the varsity performers with a 125th place finish, totaling 1,142 pins for the individual rounds.
The Statesmen entered Baker play in seventh place, enough to qualify for bracket play, but they needed to maintain their strong run of play to keep them in position to get there. They did just that, turning in the fifth highest Baker score in the tournament to move them into the fifth seed for bracket play.
First up in bracket play was Lindenwood, who took the first game from William Penn 235-175, putting the Statesmen in elimination territory immediately. The navy and gold responded well, taking the next two games by scores of 212-204 and 227-212 to advance to the semifinals.
Next up was No. 8 Midland, who had just upset the No. 1 seed in the first round. The Statesmen quickly dispatched of their semifinal opponent, winning two consecutive games by scores of 218-169 and 268-165 to advance to the finals.
Their finals opponent was No. 3 McKendree, and although both matches were close, the Statesmen swept the championship round as well, winning a nailbiter 238-235 victory to seal their first tournament victory of the season.
"I couldn't be happier with our team's performance this weekend," said Head Coach Cameron Foster. "All the hard work and practice they are putting in is really starting to show. Our team communicated very well this weekend on what they were seeing on the lanes and worked together to battle through some of the tougher pairs and took advantage of our good pairs to keep us in good position to make match play.”
"In match play, they stayed in the moment and never got ahead of themselves and took advantage of the breaks we got and openings our opponents gave us," he added. "I believe this is just the beginning of what is to come for us this season and look forward to the coming events leading us towards the postseason.”
What's Next: The Statesmen have an extended break before their next tournament, which comes in three weeks in the form of the Warhawk Open in Addison, Ill.