BATON ROUGE, La. — The nationally-ranked Urbana University men’s club bowling team is gearing up to compete in the 2017 Intercollegiate Team Championships, hosted this week at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Intercollegiate Team Championships, first contested in 1975, is the pinnacle event of the college bowling season. The 16-team tournament opens today with qualifying and match-play games. The double elimination event continues on to Friday, where teams fight for a chance to hoist the Kerm Helmer Cup in the ITC Men’s Finals, which is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on Saturday.
The Blue Knights, who check in at No. 6 in the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Poll (NCBCA), are making their fourth straight appearance at the national tournament under head coach Phil Baker.
After a pair of early exits the past two years, UU is looking to get back to the finals. The Blue Knights produced the top finish in school history as the national runner-up in 2014, after winning four contests as the fourth seed in match play.
UU earned a bid to this year’s national championships after finishing second at the Midwest Sectionals in Smyrna, Tennessee, on March 11-12. The Blue Knights came up just 42 pins short of capturing their third straight sectional title as Purdue-Calumet edged out UU, 12,731-12,689.
An experienced roster carries UU into the national spotlight, including senior Kyle Cook. The Centerville, Ohio, native earned NCBCA Second Team All-America honors last season, and will likely earn another All-America nod this season.
Additionally, the UU lineup features seniors Dalton Cooper (Beavercreek, Ohio), Trey Cooper (South Charleston, Ohio), Josh Brant-Parkin (Ontario, Canada) and Cody Schultz (Wapakoneta, Ohio). Two sophomores, Eric Bator (Brunswick, Ohio) and Terry Snyder (Cincinnati, Ohio), and one freshman, Austin Sweet (Springfield, Ohio), are also major contributors.