Collegiate Ticker - Jan. 2, 2019

A pair of Tier 1 events held in Pennsylvania helped usher in 2019 for the United States Bowling Congress Collegiate season.

The Lehigh Valley Classic was held at Jordan Lanes in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, and the Keystone Quaker Classic was contested at Haja Rose Bowl in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Each event consisted of five traditional games and 20 Baker games, with total pinfall determining the champion in each division.

The Lehigh Valley Classic welcomed 34 men's teams and 16 women's teams, with the William Paterson men and Pikeville women walking away with the titles.

The William Paterson men found themselves just one pin out of first place after five traditional games and shined during Baker competition, averaging more than 209 to roll to the win with a 9,331 pinfall total. Wisconsin-Whitewater was second with 9,125, and Robert Morris-Illinois took third with 9,061.

William Paterson's Hunter Machin and Wisconsin-Whitewater's Josh Pate tied for the top individual honors as each finished their five-game block with a 1,145 total. William Paterson's Andrew Dekowski was third with 1,108, and Florida State's Robert Poole (1,088) and Robert Morris-Illinois' Daniel Hanson (1,081) rounded out the top five.

On the women's side, Pikeville held a slight advantage heading into the second day of competition and continued strong in the Baker portion of the event, claiming the top spot with a 9,070 pinfall total. Wright State was second with 8,998, and Robert Morris-Illinois was third with 8,490.

There also was a tie at the top of the women's individual standings at the Lehigh Valley Classic as Pikeville's Lauren Piotrowski and Schenectady CCC's Melanie Lemke both finished with a 1,120 total. Wright State's Tori Pappas finished third with 1,116, while Campbellsville's Candace Gibson (1,114) and Pikeville's Mallory Liversedge (1,110) also recorded top-five finishes.

The Robert Morris-Illinois women and men swept the top spots at the Keystone Quaker Classic, pacing the field of 15 women's teams and 36 men's teams.

The Robert Morris-Illinois women took the early lead and never looked back on their way to victory, finishing with an 8,743 total. Pikeville was second with 8,465, and Schenectady CCC took third with 8,316.

In addition to the team win, Robert Morris-Illinois also held the top two individual spots in the women's division. Molly Brandos earned the victory with a 1,043 total, while Courtney Ermisch was second with 1,021. Concordia's Olivia Hoeksema was third with 997, and Pikeville's Pitrowski recorded her second top-five finish of the week, finishing in fourth with 985. Schenectady's Jenna Lemke was fifth with 983.

On the men's side, Robert Morris-Illinois cruised during Baker competition, averaging nearly 218, to claim the Keystone Quaker Classic title by more than 550 pins with a 9,650 total. Notre Dame-Ohio was second with 9,088, and William Paterson was third with 9,048.

The Robert Morris-Illinois men also took the top two individual spots. Michael Martell kicked off his run to the title with a 299 game and finished with 1,210, while Chase Benites posted 1,193. William Paterson's Greg Tack was third with 1,124, and Notre Dame-Ohio's Ryan Liederbach was fourth with 1,114. William Paterson's Dekowski earned a second top-five finish for the week with a 1,098 total.

Collegiate competition across the country will continue Jan. 11. For complete results and the full schedule for the 2018-2019 season, click here.