JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) — The Arkansas State bowling team finished second after the final day of play at the Mid-Winter Classic at the Jonesboro Bowling Center on Sunday.
Vanderbilt captured the tournament after defeating the Red Wolves in the championship match 4 ½-3 ½, while Central Missouri finished third followed by Nebraska (4th) and Maryland Eastern Shore (5th).
In the championship match, A-State and Vanderbilt both shot 234 pinfall totals in the match's opening game, earning both teams a half-point. Vanderbilt won the second game 205-192, but ASU rebounded in the third game with a 214-181 victory to tie the score. In the fourth game Vanderbilt pulled away with a 243-195 win and increased their lead in the fifth game with 171-168 win. ASU won the next game 214-188, but Vanderbilt won the seventh game 216-191 to claim the tournament title.
ASU now has three second-place finishes in four tournaments this season. They also have a third-place finish and have had the lead going into the final day of play in three of their four tournaments on the year.
"We would have certainly liked to have gotten that first tournament victory," ASU bowling coach Justin Kostick said. "I thought we bowled really well and fought hard in the championship match. We just had a couple of breaks that didn't go our way, but we improve every tournament and that win will eventually come."
ASU opened the day with 4-2 loss to Vanderbilt, forcing them to play No. 3 Central Missouri for the right to play in the championship match. ASU jumped out to a 2-1 lead, but the Jennies fought back and took a 3-2 lead to force the Red Wolves to win two straight games to advance. ASU won the sixth game 203-184 and the dominated the seventh game with a 257-212 victory to advance to the championship match against Vanderbilt.
"I thought we had some of our best bowling of the tournament against Central Missouri," Kostick said. "To be down like we were and then fight back for the victory was a good thing for our team to experience."
All-tournament selection and ASU sophomore Amanda Labossiere was named tournament MVP. Fellow sophomore Ashley Rucker was also recognized as an all-tournament team selection.
ASU will return to action Jan. 19-21 at the Big Red Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., hosted by the University of Nebraska.