HU finishes eighth at NAIA Invitational Team Championships

The Huntington University men’s bowling team claimed eighth place at the NAIA Invitational Team Championships, held from Friday, March 31, to Sunday, April 2, in Lexington, KY.

The Foresters entered the tournament as the No. 18 seed in the field of 20 teams, but far out-bowled their ranking to finish in the Elite Eight.

The competition started with 24 Baker games to determine seeding for the double-elimination match play format. Huntington struggled during the qualifying session, earning a 17th-seed for match play with a total pin fall of 4,365 for a 181 per-game average.

Huntington faced No. 16 Hastings College in a first-round matchup that extended to a fifth game, with the Foresters edging the Broncos, 3-2 – 161-138, 126-157, 174-189, 253-146 and 195-145. The win sent the Foresters into the next round, where they faced top-seeded St. Ambrose. The match went all five games, with Huntington coming up short, 1.5-3.5 – 177-177, 171-168, 147-166, 175-189 and 181-226.

But the Foresters came back with a vengeance, knocking off the No. 1 team in the country, Robert Morris–Illinois and needed just four games to do so, 3-1 – 179-146, 162-189, 171-169 and 193-170. Up against No. 7 Calumet College of St. Joseph in the round of eight, Huntington narrowly missed pulling off another upset of a powerhouse bowling program, but came up just short, 2-3 – 204-169, 194-225, 221-166, 203-246 and 189-208.

Freshman Thomas Gunter was honored at the end of the tournament by being named to the All-Tournament Team, as voted on by opposing coaches in each match. Gunter is the first Huntington bowler to earn this honor at the NAIA Invitational Team Championships.

The NAIA also honored several Forester bowlers as Academic All-Americans: Shelby Price, Brianna Fish, Heidi Tucker, Joe Miller, Daniel Miller and Derek Beckler.