By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
Thanksgiving dinner is going to be that much sweeter.
The pins continued to fall for the Grand Canyon University Men’s Bowling team as they secured their first tournament win of the season at the Oak Tree Open in Diamond Bar, California. With victories already in the ASU Grudge Match and a 2nd-place finish at the West Coast Collegiate Championship, the Lopes are proving to be true contenders in the Western Conference.
Lopes’ Head Coach Ben Canfield accredited the team success to the hard work each player put in at practice.
“The match was going back and forth until we posted our highest baker score of the tournament at 253,” said Canfield. “We saw the improvement we needed in both spare shooting and performing in pressure situations. Now, it’s about preparing for Las Vegas.”
One specific player who led the stampede for the Lopes was senior Cameron Smith. The second-year returner finished second in individual performance for the entire tournament with an average score of 229.6 through five games.
“You can definitely tell we corrected our mistakes from Fresno,” said Smith. “I’ve been in these situations for a long time, and this was just about taking everything frame by frame and not overreacting to one shot, good or bad.”
The unselfish culture of GCU Bowling displayed itself once again when Smith spoke on where he chooses to allocate his focus and goals for the team moving forward.
“I don’t worry about individual stats,” said Smith. “All I care about is winning at nationals. It’d be cool to win one of the end-of-year awards, but if I underperformed while the team still won, I would be just as happy.”
After four tournaments in three weeks, the program will take a month-long break before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Tier I National Tournament December 18 and 19.