Bowling prepares for first home fall invitational

Clara Harrington, Sports Editor

This weekend, women’s bowling will host the fifth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Bowling Invitational in Kenner, Louisiana.

With its beginnings at Tulane going back only to 2011, the team is still quite young. Over the past five years, however, the team has seen enormous growth through the leadership of fifth-year head coach Hayley Veitch and the individual strengths of its bowlers. This season, the team welcomed two new freshmen: Joanna Hackett and Isabelle Lee.

“There is always a learning process that occurs each year as the team dynamic changes with the addition of players,” Veitch said. “Overall, the freshman class has adapted well into college bowling and the team, and I know they will continue to grow and be a huge asset to the future of this team.”

Throughout this fall, the team has competed in four away tournaments: the Wildcat Invitational, the Track Kat Klash, the Jackson State Invitational and the Hawk Classic. The Allstate Sugar Bowl this weekend will mark the team’s first home event of the season.

The weekend of Nov. 13, the team went undefeated in the Jackson State Invitational at Jackson State University in Brandon, Mississippi, with a final score of 11-0.

The Friday of the tournament, the team went 5-0 in bracket play, hitting an average of 183.1 pins per game. The girls raised the average to 184.8 pins per game on Saturday, winning their match against No. 2-seeded UAB in five games.

Junior Michelle Ng had highest pin average of all bowlers with 225.4. In total, she hit 1,127 pins during the weekend. Her stellar performance displayed how she has led the team, both this season and throughout her time at Tulane.

“Michelle Ng has always stood out, as she is a great leader on the lanes, and she continues to improve with each year on the team,” Veitch said.

In the team’s most recent competition, the Hawk Classic at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, women’s bowling finished in seventh place with a 10-4 record.

The biggest challenge for the team was clinching wins early on in the weekend, after it went 2-3 on the first day of the tournament.

For this weekend’s invitational, one of the main focuses for the team will be having a strong start on Friday, which will maintain leverage over the other competitors.

A variety of factors have contributed to the team’s winning record this season. According to Veitch, having nationals in a local city provides a strong motivation for the team to perform well at all its competitions. As the team continues competing, its main goal is to qualify for United States Bowling Congress sectionals and place in the top four.

“Nationals is in Baton Rouge, so that is a big incentive to do well all season,” Veitch said.  “[The hopes for the rest of the fall are] to continually improve and grow with each tournament we bowl, and to achieve our number one goal of qualifying for USBC sectionals and being in the top four so we can make it to Nationals.”