By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff
The annual Grudge Match between the bowling programs at Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University has produced some exciting finishes over the years.
The 2019 edition was no different.
On a night where both teams battled back and forth, the Sun Devils pulled away in the late stages to capture a 14-12 victory Friday night at GCU’s Thunder Alley in the 5th Annual Grudge Match between the crosstown rivals.
ASU’s win snapped a two-year losing streak to the Lopes, and gave the Sun Devils a 3-2 lead in the all-time series. GCU had taken the match in back-to-back years, including a thrilling roll-off victory in last year’s contest. The match served as the 2019-20 season debut for both programs.
“It was a really great match between two solid programs,” said GCU Head Coach Ben Canfield, an ASU alum who bowled for the Sun Devils in college. “We have quite a few new bowlers in our program on the men’s and women’s side, so it was great to get them some competitive experience. We definitely saw a lot of positives and also a few things we can work on as we prepare for some of our big tournaments in December.”
After trading leads for the majority of the match, a best-of-five sequence was needed to decide the winner. The Lopes took two of the first three games before the Sun Devils rallied to win the final two contests and steal the match victory.
Canfield said the GCU Women’s Bowling team stepped up big all night, and gave the Lopes key wins throughout the match.
“I think what helped us the most was the support we had from everyone on our team,” said Lopes’ junior LeAnne Kommenich. “No matter what happened on each shot, we were always giving high fives and encouraging each other.
“I love the Grudge Match because everyone gets along on both sides and it’s a fun time, no matter who wins or loses.”
GCU’s men’s team will bowl in the SLOTown Showdown and SLO Rollers tournament on Oct. 26-27 in Santa Maria, California. The women will return to action for a challenge match against Benedictine University on Nov. 16 in Mesa.
Interested in joining GCU Club Bowling? Visit the team page to learn more!