The Youngstown State bowling team will compete in its first tournament in February this weekend as it travels to Jonesboro, Ark., for the Mid-Winter Invitational presented by Kalmer Solutions. The three-day tournament is being hosted by Arkansas State at the Hijinx Family Entertainment Center.
The Penguins will be one of 18 teams in the tournament, and all 13 of YSU’s matches at the tournament will be streamed live on the YSUsports YouTube Channel, pending a strong wireless signal. Results will also be posted throughout the tournament on the @ysubowling Twitter.
The Penguins will bowl in 13 matches with five Baker matches on Friday, five traditional matches on Saturday and three best-of-seven Baker matches on Sunday. Youngstown State is in the red pool, and nine of YSU’s 10 qualifying matches over Friday and Saturday will be pre-scheduled against teams in the gray pool. Sunday’s bracket will be based on total pinfall from the first two days of competition.
Friday – Five Baker matches beginning at 11 am Eastern
- vs. vs. Alabama A&M (Lanes 23-24)
- vs. #20 Lewis (Lanes 5-6)
- vs. #19 Sacred Heart (Lanes 3-4)
- vs. Alabama State (Lanes 21-22)
- vs. #5 Louisiana Tech (Lanes 9-10)
Saturday – Five traditional matches beginning at 10:25 am Eastern
- Positional Round
- vs. #21 Lincoln Memorial (Lanes 11-12)
- vs. #8 Stephen F Austin (Lanes 15-16)
- vs. #3 Nebraska (Lanes 27-28)
- vs. Drury (Lanes 17-18)
Sunday – Three best-of-seven Baker matches beginning at 9:10 am Eastern
Previewing The Field
There will be 18 teams competing this weekend, and 12 of them are ranked in the most-recent National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 25 poll. no. 1 McKendree, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 5 Louisiana Tech, No. 7 Arkansas State, No. 8 Stephen F. Austin and No. 9 Youngstown State give the field six teams ranking in the top nine in the poll.
Full Field: Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Arkansas State (#7), Drury, Jackson State, Kentucky Wesleyan, Lewis (#20), Lincoln Memorial (#21), Louisiana Tech (#5), Maryville (#13), McKendree (# 1), Nebraska (#3), Sacred Heart (#19), Stephen F. Austin (#8), Tulane (#15), Tusculum, UW-Whitewater (#22), Youngstown State (#9).
Southland Bowling League Teams: Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin, Tulane, Youngstown State.
Previously at the Mid-Winter Invitational
This will be the third straight season that Youngstown State will compete at the Mid-Winter Invitational. The Penguins finished eighth out of 19 teams in 2020, and they placed fourth among a field of 11 teams in 2021. Last season, Madyson Marx had the best tournament of her career as she posted a six-game pinfall of 1,324 that placed her fifth in the field. That is the highest total for a six-game tournament in program history, and her 220.67 average from the weekend is the second-best tournament average ever by a Penguin. YSU averaged 205.83 collectively in traditional play in 2021.
Scouting The Penguins
This will be Youngstown State’s third tournament of the spring semester and its first competition since Jan. 30. The Penguins had one of their best tournaments in school history to start the semester as they set four school records and finished third at the Northeast Classic. The following week at the PVAMU Invitational, YSU averaged 198.0 but finished 3-8 in head-to-head play and finished eighth.
Four Penguins could challenge the school record for individual season average as Megan Grams (204.89), Jade Cote (203.8), Emma Wrenn (200.52) and Lyndsay Ennis (200.52) are all above the current mark of 200.04. Grams and Cote both have a pair of top-10 finishes this season, Wrenn has one, and Ennis is coming off her best finish as she placed 14th at PVAMU. As a team, YSU is averaging almost six pins more per game than last year’s squad that reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.
Youngstown State will have three days at home before heading back on the road for Nebraska’s Big Red Invitational next week.