Lopes rake in record number of postseason awards
By: Zach Melcher/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
The greater the effort, the sweeter the reward.
Between practice restrictions and schedule limitations, the Grand Canyon University Bowling teams overcame the trials of the 2020-21 season to end with the team’s largest amount of postseason rewards in a single year.
“My goal, once we received details of what this season was going to look like, was to make it a fun and enjoyable experience,” said Lopes’ Head Bowling Coach Ben Canfield. “We wanted the season to be a building block for both our new and experienced bowlers.”
The Lopes’ practice format changed as COVID restrictions forced them to use less lanes and be more precise with their groupings. Out of this challenge, the Lopes developed an even stronger team chemistry.
“I saw the men’s and women’s teams create a solid connection and sense of comradery,” said Canfield. “We can use this year as an example of the culture we would like to emulate going forward.”
Unlike seasons past, the Lopes were unable to travel outside the state of Arizona, forcing them to get creative in scheduling their competitions. GCU played in four competitions this season: the Arizona Cup and the Arizona Shootout (two tournaments for each event) placing second in all of them behind in-state rivals Arizona State University.
“I’m honestly just glad we were able to compete as a team,” said Lopes’ senior Mathew Adragna. “My favorite moments were helping lead the team as a captain. Although it was an adjustment for me from years past, I enjoyed every second of it.”
Even with the abbreviated season, the Lopes collected many achievements. GCU had its largest group of honorees for the Club Team Bowling Coaches Association All-American Awards, with Josh Molloy earning 1st-Team honors, and teammates Adragna, Benjamin Laffoon, and Mackenzie Theophilus receiving 2nd-Team honors. Lopes’ senior LeAnne Kommenich added to the impressive list of awards winning the Arizona Bowling All-Star Award this season.
Molloy was also an Honorable Mention All-American for the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association. The Lopes also received 13 NCBCA Scholar-Athlete awards (3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher) – the most the team has received in a single season (listed below).
“It is great to see our athletes being recognized for exceling inside the classroom as well,” said Canfield. “The group has done a great job of coming together this season.”
With their 2020-21 season behind them, the Lopes are looking forward to getting back to a more typical season next year.
“I am most excited about the possibility of traveling next season to compete on a larger stage,” said Adragna. “Coach Canfield and I are looking to build upon the success of the last three years to hopefully gain a bid for nationals.”
NCBCA Scholar Athletes (3.5 Cumulative GPA or higher):
|Mathew Adragna||Maranda Hall|
|Lukas Carlson||Sydney Hebert|
|Thomas Ellis||Erika Kemp|
|Brett Garcia||LeAnne Kommenich|
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