NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Louisiana Tech used a 3-0 day on Sunday, to propel themselves to a 27th place finish at the Music City Classic in Nashville, Tennessee over the weekend.
“This weekend we bowled a lot of the nationally-ranked teams,” head coach Matt Nantais said. “We had three really close matches that were decided by five pins or less, that did not go our way. Today we came out and bowled Valparaiso University and fell behind early three games-to-one in a best of seven series. We fought back the next two games and threw the ball very well. Valparaiso had lane choice the last game, as well. In the final game we made some good shots and made spares that that allowed us to win. The next matched us against Howard, where we fell behind 2- 0. The team rallied to win the next four games to win 4-2. The final game was a confidence booster because we’ve had a hard time beating Alabama State all year. We went back-and-forth each game knowing we had to win at least one on the right lane, because it was playing very tough. We threw incredibly well in the sixth game to win the match and beat them 4-2. Today, Kendall Hickman really stepped it up and struck a lot for us.”
The Lady Techsters entered Sunday’s bracket play as the 30th overall seed but opened things up with a win over Valparaiso in seven games. In the match, Louisiana Tech overcame a 3-1 deficit and eventually took the winner-take-all game seven by a score of 176-150 to win the set in seven games (189-202, 182-210, 191-150, 168-176, 211-193, 202-126, 176-150).
Howard University was the next road block in front of the Techsters, as they fell behind 2-0 early. Louisiana rallied again through winning the next four games in a row (178-194, 176-185, 222-180, 177-170, 185-162, 212-170) to move to the next round of bracket play.
In the final game of the tournament, Louisiana Tech secured a 27th place finish with a six-game defeat of Alabama State (214-163, 167-213, 236-205, 176-213, 172-139, 192-176).
On the weekend, Louisiana Tech defeated three nationally ranked teams. On Friday, Louisiana Tech topped no. 8 Delaware State 1,106-960. On Saturday, the Techsters topped no. 20 Franklin Pierce, 937-850 and wrapped it up with the win over no. 23 Valparaiso on Sunday.
Four Louisiana Tech bowlers finished in the top-100, led by Kelsey Calzaretta who finished 79th overall. Morgan Hall finished 81st, Sarah McComic followed at 89 and Shelby Smith finished at 93. Kendall Hickman was just barely outside the top-100 at 105.
Louisiana Tech will now gear up for the Southland Conference Championships which are set to begin this Friday, March 24.
“Overall the way we finished the tournament today is going to bring a lot of confidence to the team in our conference tournament next weekend,” Nantais continued. “We bowl in the Southland Conference which is the toughest conference in NCAA Bowling. We’re going with hopes to bowl as well as we did today, to give us a chance for a high place finish next weekend. Today was the best I’ve seen them bowl this year.”