FREMONT, Neb. – The combined forces of the Avila bowling team headed to Fremont, Nebraska this past weekend for the final competition of their inaugural season of competition, the 2022 KCAC/GPAC Bowling Championships, hosted by Midland University.
For a sport that’s played on a straight wooden lane, the debut season of Avila bowling has not been without its twists and turns, but head coach Paul Wolf and his crew have done an excellent job navigating the obstacles, and the Eagles turned in one final solid performance on their one day of competition in Fremont on Saturday.
Once again competing with a combined squad, Wolf was able to mix and match the four regular members of the Avila men’s team (Evan Serrage, Wesley Smith, Aidan Tesdall and Caleb Wangler) with the three active members of the women’s team (Joanne Alibayan, Devyn Coleman and Bailey Stephan) to construct his five-person lineup for any given game on Saturday. Many different players got to practice in different roles such as leadoff and anchor while getting their first taste of postseason competition.
The seven schools competing in the men’s tournament at Midland (four full-time KCAC schools plus three full-time GPAC schools combined to compose the field for this event) bowled six total blocks of four Baker-style games on Saturday – or 24 total games – before every eligible team was seeded into the knockout stages on Sunday.
The Eagles closed out the competition really well – two of their three best blocks of four came in their final two chances to bowl this season, including a team-best total score of 726 over the four games of the fifth block. Ultimately, Avila recorded a total pinfall of 3,888 (162 average) over the 24 games to finish in sixth place – Avila led last-place Saint Mary by better than 600 pins. Hastings finished in first on Saturday with a total of 4,645 (193.5 average).
Since they were employing the combined squad of both male and female bowlers, the Eagles were not eligible to compete in Sunday’s knockout round. Fourth-seeded Midland sprung a couple of upsets, including beating Ottawa twice head-to-head, to win the tournament on the men’s side, while third-seeded Kansas Wesleyan won it on the women’s side, dropping only a couple of games along the way.
With the combo squad in place the Eagles also aren’t eligible to compete in the USBC Sectionals or the NAIA Tournament, which means Avila’s inaugural season of bowling has officially come to an end. Still, with tons of…
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