Dennen Cuthbertson, Assistant Director for Athletic Media Relations
JONESBORO – The 2017 Southland Bowling League Tournament is set for Mar. 24-26 with Arkansas State set to host the event at Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro. The event will be streamed live on InsideBowling.com.
The Red Wolves enter the event with a record of 79-31 and earned the No. 1 seed by virtue of having the best RPI ranking of the league’s eight teams after the regular season. A-State will face eighth-seeded Louisiana Tech in its first match Friday morning at 8 a.m. If the Red Wolves get past the Lady Techsters they would face the winner of the No. 4 seed Stephen F. Austin and No. 5 seed Monmouth.
The other side of the bracket includes third-seeded Vanderbilt playing No. 6 seed Tulane and No. 2 seed Sam Houston State squaring off between seventh-seeded Valparaiso. Each match will be a best-of-three set with the first part featuring the teams bowling a traditional team match before a five-game Baker match. If the two teams split those the third and decisive match will be a best-of-seven Baker match to determine which team advances.
The Southland Bowling League Championship is a double-elimination tournament with the first two rounds set for Friday. The first round begins at 8 a.m., before the second round of matches will start at 1 p.m. Saturday’s competition will also start at 8 a.m., and another round will start at 1 p.m. There will also be another match at 5 p.m. on Saturday before the championship is scheduled for Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
Arkansas State is the defending champion for the tournament after defeating Sam Houston State 4-0 in last year’s championship match. A-State lost to the Bearkats in the semifinals, but defeated Vanderbilt in the consolation final to get another crack at SHSU.
Most recently, A-State finished as the runner-up in the Music City Classic, a tournament that featured 35 teams with 19 of the top 20 teams in the latest NTCA Coaches Poll represented. Prior to last weekend’s result, the Red Wolves won the Big Red Invite March 2-4. A-State also won the Warhawk Classic Nov. 11-13 in Kenosha, Wis.
Jordan Richard leads the team with six all-tournament selections, which has tied the school record for most in one season, which she tied last year and Sarah Lokker set in the 2013-14 season. Julia Huren claimed the first all-tournament and MVP honors of her career at the Music City Classic last weekend.
Fans can purchase a three-day pass for all of the tournament’s matches for $15 or buy a $10 single session ticket for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Children under the age of five and students at any of the Southland Bowling League Institutions get in free with a valid student ID.
Fans can keep up with the Arkansas State women’s bowling team by following the squad on Twitter (@AStateBowling) and by liking the Arkansas State Women’s Bowling page on Facebook.