Bowling team not striking out

Katelyn Luysterborg

Kent State’s Bowling Team takes on 34 teams from 20 colleges

For the 17 members of the Kent State bowling team, bowling is about passion, competition and commitment.

The team came in sixth out of 34 teams and 20 colleges (each college can enter more than one team) at its first tournament Sept. 29 in Pittsburgh. Tony Casillo, junior electrical and electronic engineering technology major, came in 11th place with a 220 average.

“We want to be in the top 30,” said Matt Wilson, senior criminal justice major and team captain. “We have a lot of mature bowlers (this year) – the most talent since my freshman year.”

They will participate in 10 local and regional tournaments in the fall and spring semester and will travel from Kentucky to Indiana to compete in six conference tournaments and four non-conference tournaments.

The tournaments start at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and consist of five individual games and 15 Baker games, which are team games where each person bowls two frames.

“It’s a great experience,” Casillo said. “It’s a lot different from a regular bowling league – more exciting.”

The tournaments are held in bowling alleys with 40 to 60 lanes to accommodate all of the teams.

“(It’s) a crowded mall of bowlers and equipment,” Wilson said.

The four non-conference tournaments the team will attend are the Striking Knights Invitational in Louisville, Ky.; the Hoinke Bearcat Open in Cincinnati; the Blue and Gold Classic in South Bend, Ind.; and the Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis, Ind. These tournaments will feature teams from all over the country and will have monetary prizes for the winning teams.

“We have the potential to win a couple of tournaments,” Casillo said, “and hopefully win some money.”

In order to participate in tournaments, the team received $2,250 in allocations – which goes toward entry fees, membership fees to the United States Bowling Congress and travel expenses – from the Department of Recreational Services, and team members pay dues of $240 per year.

The team does not have any women, but women are encouraged to join, Wilson said. However, if more than five women join, they would have to start their own women’s team.

“Our club doesn’t have cuts,” Wilson said. “We take anyone who wants to join and work with them to make them better.”

The team practices Wednesdays at noon, Saturdays at noon and Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. at Kent Lanes on state Route 43. The only mandatory practice is Sunday.

The team is still accepting members for this season. Those interested in joining the Kent State bowling team should contact Matt Wilson at [email protected].

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Katelyn Luysterborg

at [email protected].