Lopes secure back-to-back 1st-place victories to start season
By: Zach Melcher/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
A historic start.
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Bowling team started their 2021-22 season traveling to San Jose, California, and took home first-place finishes in the Tony Reyes Memorial I and II Tournaments. It was the first time in program history that the Lopes took the top spot in both competitions. The sweep garnered the Lopes the No. 1 rank amongst their west coast competitors, according to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
“It was great to be back on the road again, and we were all grateful to be competing against teams we haven’t seen in a few years,” said the Lopes’ Head Bowling Coach Ben Canfield. “It was a great weekend and a great way to start the season.”
Tony Reyes Memorial I Tournament
The lanes were set to score.
The first tournament consisted of seven team games, and the Lopes were jumped out to an early pin lead. However, in Game 5, the Lopes shot nearly 100 pins lower than their average of 1067 pins, which allowed the University of California, Davis to close ground. The Lopes bounced back in their final games, securing a 251-pin lead to seal their victory with a total pin fall of 7470.
“We got off to a good start and never looked back,” said Canfield. “All eight guys were mixed into the lineup and helped contribute to the win.”
The Lopes’ Mathew Adragna placed second overall individually with an average of 228, contributing 1594 total pin falls. Alongside Adragna was the Lopes’ Benjamin Laffoon, who placed fifth individually with an average of 219 and 1530 total pin fall.
“We did exactly what we were supposed to do as a team,” said Laffoon. “We have an extremely talented team, and this was our tournament to come together.”
Tony Reyes Memorial II Tournament
When the lanes get tough, the tough get bowling.
The second tournament was comprised of four team games and 16 baker games. Despite more difficult lane conditions than the previous day, the Lopes built a 146-pin lead throughout the team game portion. California State University, Fresno narrowed the gap during the baker game section, finishing with 38 pins more than the Lopes. Despite the attempted comeback by the Bulldogs, the Lopes’ 108-pin lead granted them the first-place finish with a total pin fall of 7237.
Laffoon placed fourth overall individually with a 214 average and 854 total pins.
“It was great competing against teams we haven’t seen for a while,” said Laffoon. “We are off to a great start, and I feel like we can keep it going into the rest of our season.”
The Lopes will be back in action on November 20 at the Oak Tree Open in Diamond Bar, California.
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