ASU Bowling finishes 5th in NCAA Championship

WICKLIFFE, Ohio ( – The Arkansas State women's bowling team won its opening contest, but fell in consecutive matches to finish fifth at the 2014 NCAA Bowling Tournament at Game of Wickliffe in Wickliffe, Ohio.

The second-seeded Red Wolves opened up against the seventh seed of the tournament, Central Missouri, and opened up with a 222-204 win against the Jennies.  A-State tied UCM 209-209 in the next game to set the match score at 1.5-.5 before Arkansas State won the third game 222-189 for a 2.5-.5 lead.

Another tie, this one at 221-221, in the fourth game set the match score at 3-1 in favor of A-State, but Central Missouri won game six 225-195 to close the gap to 3-2.  The Red Wolves left little doubt in the sixth game with a 257-167 win to advance in the winner's bracket to face the sixth seed Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers took game one (254-159), but A-State won game two (238-189) to tie the match early.  Nebraska escaped with a close 233-223 win in game three and a tie (189-189) set the match score at 2.5-1.5 in favor of Nebraska.  A-State won game five 239-189 to tie the match up, but Nebraska won by just six pins, 203-197, in game six to take the 3.5-2.5 lead.  The Red Wolves put up a solid 224 in game seven, but Nebraska exploded for a 275 to earn the 4.5-2.5 match win.

The loss pitted A-State with the number one seed Maryland Eastern Shore, who lost its first match of the day to eighth-seeded Sam Houston State.  UMES opened with a 247-174 win, but A-State responded with a 234-202 victory.  The Hawks shot an incredible 290 to defeat A-State's excellent score of 248 in game three and then went on to win game four 244-191 to take a 3-1 match lead.  After a narrow 226-215 Arkansas State win, the Hawks ended A-State's title hopes with a 228-206 game six victory and clinched the 4-2 match win.

"We actually bowled really well today," A-State head coach Justin Kostick said.  "Against Nebraska we were just very unlucky and didn't get the breaks they did and we ran into a buzz saw against UMES.  I'm proud of how we played though and we had to play some tough teams that just happened to bowl their best against us."

Arkansas State ends its season with a record of 98-32, setting the school record for wins in a season, topping last year's mark of 91.  Today's matches were the last in the distinguished careers of Ashley Rucker and Amanda Labossiere.  Both players were a part of NCAA Tournament teams for all four of their seasons at Arkansas State.