By Emily Larkin, Managing and Online Editor
Newman’s women’s and men’s bowling teams took home first and third, respectively, in their home meet, the Mid-States Championship, last weekend.
The tournament consisted of 84 teams: 27 varsity women’s teams, 31 varsity men’s teams, and 26 junior varsity teams.
The women’s team, who were the defending champions of this tournament, ended the first day of play in the sixth place. Senior Ashton Anderson led the lady Jets the first day, ending in third place. Junior Kristin Machacek stayed in 18th with freshman Leanne Vastbinder in 24th.
Anderson, the lone lady’s all- tournament team qualifier, said the women’s team was intent on reprising its first- place finish from last year.
“Nothing was going to stop us. Even though we struggled, we were able to bounce back and pick each other up,” she said. “The motivation to defend our title helped us to stay determined and to reset.”
Head Bowling Coach Billy Murphy said Anderson has been a stable asset.
“It’s great to see [Ashton’s] growth over the time she’s been here,” he said. “She’s been very consistent so far.”
On day two, the lady Jets defeated both Midland and Martin Methodist to advance to the championship round where they defeated cross- town rival Wichita State to claim a second consecutive Mid- States Championship.
Murphy said both teams have transformed the way they have played from the beginning of the season.
“When we got into match play, they just clicked it into another gear, and it was just fun to watch.”
The men finished the first day of game play in second place behind Grand Valley University. Senior Jake Provenzano led the men Jets in fifth. Junior Nathan Brantley followed in 23rd and sophomore John Baeten was 25th.
Provenzano, who earned his third season all- tournament team qualification, said playing in Wichita helped invigorate the team for success.
“Bowling at home in front of our friends and family created an electric atmosphere,” he said. “Our team chemistry is spectacular. There is a lot of talent and positive vibes centered around this team.”
Murphy said Provenzano has learned new skills over the last few weeks that have helped him succeed even further.
“[Jake] has turned into a very patient competitor,” he said. “First of all, he has a wonderful skill set, but I think his mental approach is what’s keeping him in tune with what’s going on.”
On day two, the men defeated Kansas Wesleyan to nab the first seed spot but fell to Wichita State in the semifinals to fall to third place overall.
Murphy said this tournament has given the athletes some much needed confidence and understanding.
“I think this weekend gives us a little insight into who we really are. I’m not sure they really knew, but this weekend gave them some instant feedback of how they can compete on the national level.”
Both teams will take on the Lion’s Classic Saturday and Sunday in St. Charles, Missouri.
This article was apart of our 50th anniversary issue where we used similar formatting to an issue from 1973. To see the full issue, formatting included, click here.