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GCU Women’s Bowling Builds on young but growing tradition

September 7, 2017

By GCU Staff


Three years may seem like a small number is certain circles.  For the GCU Club Women’s Bowling team, three years is all they’ve needed to establish themselves as national powers.

“Last season we finished as ranked 10th in the nation and the goal is to improve on that number,” said GCU Club Head Women’s Bowling Coach Ben Canfield. “We won two full tournaments last year and we will work to increase that number this year.”

Canfield is entering his third year as head coach of the squad, and while he is just barely removed from his own playing days at Arizona State University, he has acclimated well with the GCU environment and built strong relationships with his players.

“I just got done graduating and competing in college bowling myself, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Canfield. “It’s been an amazing experience so far. Being younger helps a lot to connect with other players.”

Bowling team member Jennifer Pheigaru is one of several who immediately saw the connection that Canfield’s youth and close proximity to his own ‘playing days’ had in relating to his coaching

“Ben is just like one of us,” Pheigaru said. “Because we’re all close in age it makes it easier to talk to and open up with each other.”

Pheigaru, who has bowling experience dating to her high school days, didn’t expect to continue bowling in college, but has been grateful for the opportunity.

“At first, I didn’t even know GCU had a bowling team,” she said. “It was my dad who let me know about the team, and I was really excited because I always wanted to keep playing.”

Pheigaru’s comfort zone on the team has grown exponentially-in part due to the growing camaraderie she’s felt with her teammates, and in even larger part to her growing skills on the lane that have made a national championship contender.

“Our first year, we were a co-ed team, and it was my first time bowling with men on the team,” Pheigaru said. “After we made it an all-men’s and all-women’s team, I felt that I had an advantage over other bowlers having played co-ed the year before and learning new things, (as well as) getting faster and better overall. I’ve gotten close, but my goal this year is to make it to nationals and win.”

A national win would surely have a positive impact on the program, but Canfield is also still working to improve the culture of the team.  “I want to create an environment where students are able to compete,” he said. “I also want to have relationships that are able to last a lifetime.”

The women’s bowling team is definitely in a great position to continue making progress in both of their main goals and with the start of the season just over a month away, the lopes will begin their journey toward advancing to nationals.

The ‘Lopes will begin their quest toward nationals with an women’s bowling informational meeting on Sept. 13th from 7 – 8 pm in room 6-104.  Those interested in learning more about bowling for Grand Canyon University are encouraged to attend.