Lopes successful in biggest tournaments of season
By: Zach Melcher/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
A bowling litmus test.
The Grand Canyon University Bowling teams competed in the Las Vegas Invitational and the Collegiate Shoot-Out, where the Lopes’ Men’s team placed in the top 15 and top 10 respectively, while the GCU Women placed in the top 30 of each at their first Tier 1 events of the season.
“Overall, I would say it was a really successful week for everyone,” said Lopes’ Head Bowling Coach Ben Canfield. “This was the strongest field of competitors we have faced so far and is a great measuring tool for us.”
Las Vegas Invitational
After bowling nine team games, the Lopes’ varsity men’s bowling team ranked 15th in the field – allowing them to just squeak past the cut. In the first round of bracket play, the Lopes faced off against the University of Pikeville, a best-of-five match that came down to the final frame. The Lopes came up seven pins short to Pikeville, the eventual tournament champion.
“I consider making the cut in that event a huge success,” said Canfield. “The University of Pikeville is always a national contender and getting those reps was a big opportunity for us.”
This was the first true tournament for the Lopes’ varsity women’s team this season and they placed 26th overall.
“Going into that environment can be intimidating, especially for the first event of the season,” said Canfield. “All things considered, they bowled well and learned a lot through the process.”
The Lopes’ junior varsity men’s team took home first place and won their division by 314 pins.
“They had really strong performances all week,” said Canfield. “It is a great indication of the depth of talent we have within our program.”
The Lopes’ varsity men’s bowling team gave themselves a shot securing a 10th place finish after day one, however on day two the Lopes missed the top eight cut by just 50 pins finishing in 10th place overall.
“They gave it a great run, and although it stung at the time, this was the best finish at this tournament in the team’s history,” said Canfield. “Against a field of that caliber, I believe it bodes really well for us moving forward.”
Lopes’ freshman Nick Barrieault placed 19th overall individually, collecting 1286 pins with a tournament average of 214.
“I had so many emotions throughout the tournament and learned so much,” said Barrieault. “I really enjoyed the whole experience, and I was proud of our whole team and myself.”
The Lopes’ varsity women’s team placed 28th overall and the men’s junior varsity team placed first.
“We had a really strong showing overall against really tough competitors,” said Canfield. “I want us to use what we learned and to ride this momentum as we continue with the second half of our season.”
GCU will compete in the Devil’s Duel and the Antelope Shoot-out on January 15 and 16, respectively, at Glenfair Lanes in Glendale.
Interested in learning more about the GCU Club Bowling team?