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Finalists set for 2014 XBowling ITC

Aaron Smith
USBC Communications
Published: April 17, 2014 | Bowl.com
RENO, Nev. - The Pikeville women will face off against Robert Morris-Illinois, while the Urbana men will take on Lindenwood to crown champions Friday at the 2014 XBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships.

Four teams from a field of the top 32 collegiate programs in the country made their way through the double-elimination match-play bracket Thursday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to make the nationally televised finals. CBS Sports Network will air the women's final on May 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern, while the men's final will air May 27 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The Pikeville women were the only team to go undefeated through match play on either side, and they now find themselves in the title match for the second consecutive year. Although they fell short to Maryland Eastern Shore at the 2013 ITC, they hope to use that experience to their advantage. Pikeville defeated Grand View, 4-2, to earn their return trip to the finals.

"We came here wanting to win this year," Pikeville senior Christina Halen said. "We knew we wanted it. We knew we were better than last year, and that's everything. I think it will be easier for us tomorrow because of last year. Maryland Eastern Shore had experienced that before, where we had not. I think that experience helped them, and I think our experience last year will help us. It would mean everything to win."

The Robert Morris-Illinois women were undefeated until Lindenwood knocked them off in the semifinals, 4-2. With the double-elimination format, Lindenwood would have had to defeat Robert Morris-Illinois a second time to advance to the finals, but fell short, 4-1, placing the Eagles into the title match.

"We bowled the first match a little scared, a little careful," Robert Morris-Illinois senior Samantha Kelly said. "We came back and left it all out there. We have been living by the saying, 'one dream, one team.' We know whether we open or make a mistake, there are eight of us, and we're bowling as one. We've been working hard for this since day one."

The Urbana men saw their way into the finals after junior Graham Fach delivered three strikes in the 10th frame to outlast Wichita State, 4-3. Wichita State had handed Urbana their first lost in the semifinals, 4-3.

"I'm glad I did it for my team, and I'm glad my teammates put me in that position," Fach said. "We're a team of fighters. We knew Wichita State would come strong in the first match, and they bowled great. We came in trying to do our best, and we did more than we thought we could. The goals and expectations have changed, and we hope to throw good shots tomorrow."

The Lindenwood men also clinched a spot in the title match in the final frame against San Jose State, 4-3. Sophomore Andre Fors struck on his first shot in the 10th, forcing San Jose State to throw three strikes to stay in contention, but faltered on the second attempt. San Jose State forced an additional round by handing Lindenwood its first loss in the semifinals, 4-1.

"I just said this is it," Fors said. "This is what we've worked for. We had to make shots, step up and keep our focus. It would be a dream to win."

A total of four television shows will be taped Friday starting at 9 a.m. Pacific, with the men's and women's semifinals and finals of the XBowling Intercollegiate Singles Championships also taking place. The women's singles show will air May 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern, while the men's singles show will air May 13 at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network.

XBowling is the title sponsor of the collegiate national championships. XBowling is a first-of-its-kind bowling app that empowers bowlers to connect and compete using their smart phone or tablet devices while bowling within XBowling enabled centers locally, across the country and around the world. The XBowling platform allows bowlers to enter challenges, view live scoring, and compete remotely while bowling.

2014 XBOWLING INTERCOLLEGIATE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thursday's results (At Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, Nev.)

MATCH PLAY

(Best-of-7, double-elimination match play)

MEN

Third Round

Urbana def. Robert Morris-Illinois, 4-2
Lindenwood def. San Jose State, 4-2
Wichita State def. Webber International, 4-0 (Webber International eliminated)
Clarke def. Fresno State, 4-2 (Fresno State eliminated)
Calumet def. Purdue, 4-2 (Purdue eliminated)
Midland def. Rochester Institute of Technology, 4.5-.5 (Rochester Institute of Technology eliminated)

Fourth Round
Wichita State def. Clarke, 4-1 (Clarke eliminated)
Midland def. Calumet, 4-0 (Calumet eliminated)

Fifth Round
Wichita State def. Robert Morris-Illinois, 4-2 (Robert Morris-Illinois eliminated)
San Jose State def. Midland, 4-2 (Midland eliminated)

Semifinals
Wichita State def. Urbana, 4-3 (Second semifinal needed)
Urbana def. Wichita State, 4-3 (Wichita State eliminated)
San Jose State def. Lindenwood, 4-1 (Second semifinal needed)
Lindenwood def. San Jose State, 4-3 (San Jose State eliminated)

WOMEN

Third Round

Pikeville def. Grand View, 4.5-1.5
Robert Morris-Illinois def. Sacred Heart, 4-0
Maryland Eastern Shore def. Adrian, 4-2 (Adrian eliminated)
Midland def. Wichita State, 4.5-1.5 (Wichita State eliminated)
Lindenwood def. Notre Dame-Ohio, 4-0 (Notre Dame-Ohio eliminated)
Stephen F. Austin def. McKendree, 4-3 (McKendree eliminated)

Fourth Round
Maryland Eastern Shore def. Midland, 4-3 (Midland eliminated)
Lindenwood def. Stephen F. Austin, 4-3 (Stephen F. Austin eliminated)

Fifth Round
Grand View def. Maryland Eastern Shore, 4-2 (Maryland Eastern Shore eliminated)
Lindenwood def. Sacred Heart, 4-3 (Sacred Heart eliminated)

Semifinals
Pikeville def. Grand View, 4-2 (Grand View eliminated)
Lindenwood def. Robert Morris-Illinois, 4-2 (Second semifinal needed)
Robert Morris-Illinois def. Lindenwood, 4-1 (Lindenwood eliminated)

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