Lopes win first two events of season in dominant fashion
By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff
If this past weekend’s results are any indication of what’s to come next month in Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Bowling team is ready for the bright lights and the big stage.
Behind a balanced attack up and down the lineup, the Lopes cruised to first-place finishes at both the Oak Tree Open and Floria Financial Services Open in Diamond Bar, California.
GCU took both trophies in dominant fashion, winning the Oak Tree Open by a whopping 453 pins and the Floria Financial Service Open by a convincing 150 pins. Although the Lopes have enjoyed good success at these events in the past, this was the first year they’ve won both tournaments.
“Our guys just crushed it,” said GCU Head Coach Ben Canfield. “We had some people really step up and bowl well, and that’s awesome to see. We’ve taken second place in a couple of tournaments this year, so it was great to see our guys come out and win by such large margins.”
Both tournaments featured eight-team fields, with the Oak Tree Open using a pure team format that included seven games. The Floria Financial Open used a hybrid format, featuring five team games and 10 Baker-style games.
The formats proved irrelevant as GCU placed five bowlers in the top-10 individual standings in both tournaments, despite missing one of its best competitors in captain Joshua Mabry, who is recovering from a hand injury suffered earlier in the season.
The Lopes were led by Mathew Adragna, who placed fourth in the Floria Financial Open (200.2 average) and fifth in the Oak Tree Open.
“It was a good weekend where I put the shots where I needed to,” Adragna said. “The work doesn’t stop here, but this gives me a lot of motivation to do even better next time. I know that my individual performance doesn’t matter as much as the team’s performance. If I do well, the team does well and that’s what is most important.”
Also placing in the Top 10 at the Oak Tree Open for GCU were Joshua Molloy (second), Michael McQuisten (seventh) and Kyle Gilbert (10th). Capturing Top-10 honors in the Floria Financial Services Open were Marquan Rivers (seventh), Jackson Speece (ninth) and Molloy (10th).
The pair of wins is encouraging, especially considering GCU’s biggest events of the season are coming up in less than a month. The Lopes will bowl in the Las Vegas Invitational and Collegiate Shoot-Out, where a haul of Tier 1 ranking points will be on the line.
“These results definitely give us a lot of confidence,” Canfield said. “It solidifies, in my mind, where everyone sort of fits on the roster. It gives us confirmation that we’re doing the right things at practice and in tournament preparation. We’re excited to compete on the national stage in Vegas.”
“I think we’re really starting to mesh as a team,” Adragna added. “There is a level of trust and understanding between all of us. Each one of us has the potential to have a breakout tournament, and I expect these Vegas tournaments are going to be where all of us do well.”
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