Katie Maher and Kayla Crawford
Katie Maher and Kayla Crawford
Bowling - Tue, Apr. 4, 2017

This past weekend, the St. Ambrose bowlers closed out the 2016-2017 season with memorable performances. Both men's and women's teams were competing at the annual NAIA Invitational National Championship Tournament in Lexington, Ky. While the men took the early spotlight by earning the High Qualifier Award on Friday, the women's team posted a memorable third-place showing.

The men set the pace on Friday during the 24-game baker qualifying format by averaging 202, finishing with 4870 for their 24 games. The event was contested on a demanding 38-foot pattern, and St. Ambrose was the only team to average 200.

The men's Varsity team consisted of senior Kyle Krol, junior Mitchell Kelley, sophomores Anthony Dodge, Brenden Sramek, Alex Denton, Russell Deer, Brent Boho and freshman Billy Hibbard.

Once qualifying was complete, teams advanced to double-elimination bracket play. As top qualifier, SAU took on Huntington in the opening round, coming from behind to post a 3.5-1.5 win. Then, they were sent into the contender's bracket by Lindenwood-Bellville 3-0. In the next round, they fell behind 2-0 to Martin Methodist, but rallied to post a 3-2 victory. They then ended their season with a difficult 3-1 loss to Davenport University.

The SAU women qualified fifth with a 4465 total for their 24 baker games. On Saturday, they began their bracket play with a 3-1 victory over Baker University. They then proceeded to beat Webber International 3-0 before falling to top qualifier Pikeville 3-2. On Sunday, they topped Lindenwood-Belleville 3-2 in the contender's bracket, and then whipped Robert Morris University 3-1 to advance to a rematch with Pikeville. Leading 2-0, SAU dropped their final three games to fall 3-2, ultimately finishing third. St. Francis beat Pikeville to capture the title.

Sophomore Kayla Crawford was named as a member of the All-Tournament Team for her performance over the three-day event.

Katie Maher and Kayla Crawford were named as NAIA All-Americans at the Friday night NAIA Awards Banquet. Maher was appearing on the All-American Team for the second consecutive year, while Crawford was making her first-ever NAIA All-American Team.