Four teams unbeaten at Intercollegiate Team Championships

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Four teams survived the opening day of match play unscathed and need just one more victory to advance to the championship round at the 2009 United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships.

Four-time champion Saginaw Valley State and first-year program Webber International finished unbeaten among the men. For the women, top seeded Central Florida and eight-time champion Wichita State also won all three of their matches Friday at The Cherry Bowl.

All four teams need to win just one match in the semifinals to advance to the finals, scheduled to begin at approximately 1 p.m. CDT Saturday. The championship matches will be taped for national broadcast on CBS College Sports on June 2 and 3.

Saginaw Valley State’s Dan MacLelland, a two-time collegiate Most Valuable Player, is hoping to lead his young team to its third title in the last four years and fifth overall. Five of the eight players on the roster for the Cardinals are competing in the Intercollegiate Team Championships for the first time.

“We had to work hard to keep the nerves down for the newcomers,” MacLelland said. “We started some cheers to help keep the nerves in check and just tried to keep it fun. When the nerves are in check, it helps them make better shots.”

Saginaw Valley State advanced to the semifinals by defeating Rochester Institute of Technology, 4-2. The Cardinals went ahead 2-0 in the match and avoided being taken to a seventh game in the best-of-seven match play format with a 202-186 win in Game 6.

Webber International, which bowled the first 300 Baker game in the history of the event in qualifying Thursday, advanced to the semifinals in the program’s first season. The Warriors, based in Babson Park, Fla., knocked off top seed Wichita State, 4.5-2.5, including a 209-200 win in the seventh game.

“It’s an amazing feeling to get this far, especially since it’s a new experience for all of us,” said Webber International’s Larry Brande, who was voted as the Rookie of the Year by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association this season. “We feel like we are ready. We’ve been working all season for this and we know that we are capable.”

The men’s semifinals will feature a pair of rematches as Saginaw Valley State will take on Rochester Institute of Technology, while Webber International battles Wichita State.

On the women’s side, Central Florida survived scares in their opening matches to stay alive among the winners. The Golden Knights were taken to the limit by Erie Community College and Pikeville but came out ahead 4-3 in both matches. They defeated Lindenwood, 4-1, in the third match.

“They have a lot of heart and worked real hard,” Central Florida coach Pat Costello said. “We’ve had such a good year, and so far, so good. Everything is going according to plan so far.”

No. 2 seed Wichita State needed seven games to defeat McKendree and stay unbeaten. The Shockers fell behind 2-0 before storming back to take the match 4-3 with a 225-190 victory in the deciding game.

“We fell behind the first two games trying to get lined up,” Wichita State junior Sandra Gongora said. “Then we were able to come back and win.”

Central Florida will take on Lindenwood in the women’s semifinals, while Wichita State faces McKendree.

By Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications

Four teams unbeaten at Intercollegiate Team Championships was last modified: April 18th, 2009 by Brian Halstrom

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