Collegiate Ticker - Feb. 6, 2019

With the United States Bowling Congress Collegiate postseason starting next month, teams will be looking to sharpen their Baker skills in preparation for their runs at the Helmer Cup.

Last weekend at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights, Illinois, the Wichita State men and Lindenwood women looked ready to make long runs toward their respective national championships by claiming the titles at the McKendree Baker Challenge.

The 2019 edition of the event featured 21 men's varsity teams and 20 women's varsity teams. All teams competed in 40 Baker games to determine the eight teams in each division qualifying for bracket play. All bracket matches featured a best-of-three Baker format.

During men's qualifying, McKendree paced the field for 40 games, recording an 8,008 total to finish as the only team to average more than 200. Webber International was second with 7,880, while Wichita State (7,858), St. Ambrose (7,804) and Mount Mercy (7,674) followed in the standings.

Upon entering bracket play, Wichita State averaged more than 210 as a unit to sweep its way to victory, including a 2-0 win over McKendree in the championship round. The Shockers also dispatched No. 7 Midland and No. 6 Marian on the way to the title match, while McKendree swept No. 4 St. Ambrose in the semifinal and outlasted No. 8 Lindenwood in the opening round, 2-1.

Lindenwood proved to be the strongest team in the women's field throughout the weekend after leading qualifying by nearly 150 pins with a 7,901 total. Wichita State was second with 7,754, while William Penn (7,511), St. Ambrose (7,481) and Newman (7,442) also qualified in the top five.

The Lions dropped only one game on the way to the finals and swept No. 7 Judson in the title match, 2-0. Lindenwood, the defending women's champion at the Intercollegiate Team Championships, swept No. 5 Newman in the semifinals after edging No. 8 Midland in the first round, 2-1. Judson swept No. 6 Webber and No. 2 Wichita State to advance to the title match.

In other USBC Collegiate action over the weekend:

- At the Prairie View A&M Invitational in Arlington, Texas, the Arkansas State women found redemption after a runner-up finish in 2018, claiming the title this year with a 4-2 win against Vanderbilt.

- At the Bowling for the Kure event in Reading, Pennsylvania, the Molloy women edged Kutztown by 12 pins in overall pinfall.

- At the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference No. 1 in Hamburg, New York, the Medaille women paced the field in pinfall.

- At the Bronco All-Baker Blast VI in Hastings, Nebraska, the Iowa Western CC women and Hastings men were victorious in bracket play.

- At the Boulevard Bowl Collegiate Classic in Schenectady, New York, the SUNY-Stony Brook men took the early lead and never looked back, while the Sacred Heart women rolled to an easy victory.

- At the Norse Collegiate Classic in Erlanger, Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands women and Calumet men each cruised to wins.

- At the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference No. 4 in Troy, Michigan, the Indiana Tech men and women performed at their best during Baker competition to head to the top of the standings.

- At the V-Hawk Invitational in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the Grand View women and men swept the top spots.

- At the 25th annual SCCC Invitational in Schenectady, New York, the William Paterson men bounced back with a big win, while the Corning CC women edged D'Youville by four pins.

- At the MSU Eagle Classic in Louisville, Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands women collected a second win of the weekend, while the Northwestern Ohio men earned the top spot.

For complete results and the full schedule for the 2018-2019 season, click here.