Vanderbilt, 94-33, competes in the fifth annual Southland Bowling League Championship this weekend at the USA Bowl in Dallas.
Tournament format differs from regular season: The SBL is a double elimination tournament using a best of three match format. This is the third year the system is being used by the league and will be used again at this year’s NCAA Championship. It is not how the regular season matches were determined.
Match 1: Five-person traditional team match
Match 2: 5-game Baker using total pin fall
Match 3: Best of Seven Baker match play (Only if teams split first two matches)
In other words, teams will first play a traditional team game, followed by a 5-game, total pin Baker game. Should one team win both, the match is over. If they split, a best of seven Baker is played to determine the winner.
Match times: Action begins on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (CT) with the opening four matches, followed by the second round at 1:30 p.m. for both winning and losing Round 1 teams. Saturday’s Round 3 begins at 8:30, Round 4 at 1:30. Sunday’s play begins at 8:00 a.m. and rounds depend upon the nature of how the double elimination has gone.
2. Sam Houston State
3. Arkansas State
4. Stephen F. Austin
6. Youngstown State
7. Louisiana Tech
Tournament admission: There will be a $15 cost for an all-session ticket (3 sessions) or $10 for a single session.
Championship website: Southland.org has an excellent link to the tournament bracket, scores and other information. For those wanting complete information this is the place to be.
Follow from afar: InsideBowling.com will live stream the tournament. Vanderbilt’s YouTube or Facebook Live streaming sites will cover all Vandy matches not covered by Inside Bowling.
Friendship Seven: The Commodores are taking a seven-person travel team to Dallas: seniors Jordan Newham and Kristin Quah, juniors Bryanna Leyen, Emily Rigney, Adel Wahner and Maria Bulanova and sophomore Samantha Gainor.
A powerful league: The Southland Bowling League is the nation’s strongest and deepest. Vanderbilt, Arkansas State, Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin were all in the Top 6 of the latest NTCA poll. Tulane was ranked 12th, Louisiana Tech 23rd and Youngstown State 24th.
Last year’s championship: Arkansas State topped Stephen F. Austin to win its second SBL championship in 2018. Vanderbilt had bowled well during the opening day but stumbled Saturday and lost games to SFA and Arkansas State. Kristin Quah made the all-tournament team.
Vandy and ASU are the only two programs to have won the league championship, each winning twice. Vanderbilt won the first tournament in 2015 and again in 2017, ASU won in 2016 and 2018.
Automatic qualification: The winner of this tournament and five other qualified conferences will be automatic qualifiers. The NCAA will then make at-large selections. The entire championship field will be announced by the NCAA Committee next Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. via web stream on NCAA.com.