MU bowling to co-host regionals


Gillian Mazur, Managing editor

Announced by the NCAA on Oct.14, Mercyhurst University, Penn State Behrend and the Erie Sports Commission will co-host the 2021-2022 National Colle-giate Women’s Bowling Champi-onship Regionals.

Set to be played at the Roll-ing Meadow Lanes, the event is scheduled from April 2-3 in 2021 and April 1-2 in 2022.

The newest team to be added to Mercyhurst’s DII NCAA ath-letics, the Women’s bowling team had their first season during the winter of 2019. It was the 25th varsity team to be added to the Laker’s variety of sports.

Junior Haley Youker comment-ed on this exciting honor for the team. “Having the event held in Erie at our home center is very cool. Our entire team, and Coach Machuga especially are very excit-ed about this opportunity. Being a fairly new team, this will be a great opportunity to get some attention for our program. Co-hosting this event also makes us want to work that much harder so that we can participate in it,” Youker said.

Just like every other varsity team, the Women’s bowling team has been practicing regularly in a socially distant manner.

“We wear masks at all times during practice except while in the settee area. We also sanitize all sur-faces before and after we practice every day,” Youker said. For all of the non-bowlers out there, the settee area is the part of the floor where one actually stands before bowling.

“We are extremely grateful for this opportunity and are excit-ed to get back to competeing,” Youker said.

Aside from the honors of co-hosting the Regional Cham-pionships, Mercyhurst Women’s bowling has been achieving in more ways than one. Earlier in the year, the Lakers earned Na-tional Tenpin Coaches Associa-tion All-Academic Team status. Awarded by the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA), this award recognizes NCAA bowling teams that excel academ-ically each year.

Since the early 2000s, the NTCA has been a leader in the advancement for NCAA Women’s bowling. The core mission of the NTCA is to facilitate dialogue be-tween coaches and the NCAA in regard to bowling legislation and rules, as well as providing coaches and higher institutions with edu-cation to grow the sport.

To qualify for the National Ten-pin Coaches Association All-Aca-demic Team award, a team must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. In the 2019-2020 year, 58 programs qualified, Mercyhurst being one of them.

The Lakers’ cumulative team GPA ranked in at an impressive 3.42.