JONESBORO, Ark. (1/12/17) – The Arkansas State women's bowling team, ranked as the top team in the nation in the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association Poll, is set to host the Mid-Winter Invitational Jan. 13-15 at the Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro with Friday's action scheduled to get underway at 11:30 a.m.
The field for event features 18 teams with 10 squads ranked in the NTCA Top 25 Poll. Other ranked teams joining the Red Wolves are No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 McKendree, No. 5 Stephen F. Austin, No. 6 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Central Missouri, No. 9 Monmouth, No. 10 Maryland-Eastern Shore, No. 23 UAB, and No. 24 Valparaiso. Jackson State is receiving votes and is in the field, while Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Drury, Lincoln University (Mo.), Lincoln Memorial University (Tenn.), Louisiana Tech, and Maryville University (Mo.) round out the list of teams scheduled to compete.
"We're excited about this year's field of teams," A-State head women's bowling coach Justin Kostick said. "It's the highest number of schools we've had since I've been head coach and we have eight of the top 10 teams in the country along with a good mix of regional squads. We're definitely ready to compete and see if we can carry our momentum from the fall over to 2017."
Friday's competition will feature five, five-game Baker matches, while Saturday's action will be composed of five traditional team matches beginning at 9:30 a.m. Total pinfall from the first two days will be used to determine seeding for Sunday's bracket play. Each team will play three best-of-seven Baker matches Sunday beginning at 8:30 a.m. Admission to all three days of the tournament is free.
Arkansas State (29-8) has competed in three tournaments this season with no lower than a third-place finish in any of the events. The Red Wolves won their first tournament of the season in their last competition, the Warhawk Classic, Nov. 11-13. A-State turned in a second-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational to open the campaign Oct. 21-23 before a third-place showing at the Track Kat Klash Nov. 4-6.
Junior Jordan Richard has collected two all-tournament honors this season, including the MVP award at the Wildcat Invitational and was named the Southland Bowling League Bowler of the Month for October. Her other all-tournament honor was at the Warhawk Classic where her sister Haley Richard also earned all-tournament recognition.
McKendree won last season's Mid-Winter Invitational with a 4-2 win over Sam Houston State. The Red Wolves finished in third place with a 4-1 win over Vanderbilt.