Men take 3rd at Glenn Carlson Las Vegas Invitational; women grab top 5 finish
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
Continuing to set new marks in every tournament they participate in, the Grand Canyon University Bowling teams scored a pair of top-five finishes at the Glenn Carlson Las Vegas Invitational Open at the South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lopes’ Men finished tied for third overall, while the Lopes’ Women’s team finished strong to place 5th.
Even before the teams headed to the second day of the tournament, Lopes’ Head Coach Ben Canfield knew he had a history-making tournament on his hands for both teams, since the teams spent Monday staying in range to reach match play in the tournament for the first time ever. The men continued to flirt with the top 5 all through Monday’s action, placing 6th going into the second day. “I was impressed by the team’s resiliency,” remarked Canfield. “Every time we struggled a bit, we bounced back quickly.”
Bolstered by Lopes’ freshman bowler Donovan Koff, the Lopes hit their stride once they reached match play Tuesday, downing both rival Arizona State University and West Texas A&M University by identical 3-1 scores. The Lopes headed to the semifinal round against vaunted Wichita State. The Shockers quickly rang up the first two games against GCU before the Lopes’ resiliency came to the forefront again to win a pair of games force a fifth and deciding match before WSU prevailed to end the Lopes’ run. “The fact that we almost took down one of the best teams in the country was pretty impressive,” said Canfield. “And a lot of fun.” Koff led the way with a 214 average over his nine games.
The Lopes’ Women faced a tougher road to get to the top five after getting out of the gates slowly on Monday. Under Lopes’ Assistant Coach (and former PBA Champion) Jakob Butturff, who was making his coaching debut after joining the Lopes’ staff last week), the Lopes were 8th after the first day’s play. Match play was still in their sights, and they qualified with a fast start Tuesday. The Lopes put up a fight in their first-round matchup against Newman University (Kansas) before falling in four games.
Neither team has long to celebrate their victory, since they travel across town to the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas to get back into action at the Collegiate Shootout Wednesday and Thursday.