The Youngstown State bowling team collectively posted a 3.699 GPA during the year, which was the sixth-best mark in the country according to the National Tenpin Coaches Association All-Academic Team Award list released on Friday.
While recording the sixth-best GPA in the country is impressive in its own right, Youngstown State was the only bowling program in the nation to have a top-10 GPA in 2019-20 while also ranking in the top 10 in the final NTCA Top 25 Poll.
"I'm extremely proud of this group for all they accomplished during the season on and off the lanes," YSU head coach Doug Kuberski said. "The way they maintained their consistent approach to their studies while navigating the challenges of the past several months is inspiring."
The NTCA annually recognizes bowling programs across the country that post a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher for the academic year. For the 2019-20 school year, 57 programs met the criteria. Adelphi led the nation with a 3.82, followed by Delaware State (3.77), Tulane (3.766), La Roche (3.733), Louisiana Tech (3.716) and Youngstown State (3.699). YSU was one of 15 teams to appear on the final NTCA Top 25 Poll and also have one of the top 25 GPAs.
In addition to celebrating the achievement of teams, the NTCA also recognized 380 student-athletes across 69 programs for excelling in the classroom. Student-athletes who had at least a 3.4 GPA for the year qualified, and Youngstown State had eight bowlers on the list. Penguins who met the 3.4 threshold included Rachel Darrow, Emma Dockery, Sarah Florence, Megan Grams, Nikki Mendez, Emma Wasielewski, Emma Wrenn and Alisha Yacono.
Athletically, Youngstown State had the best season in its four-year history in 2019-20. The Penguins had a final ranking of 10 in the NTCA Top 25 poll and the NCAA RPI, won 81 matches - an astonishing 32 more than any other season – and posted a .653 winning percentage. YSU won 14 matches against teams ranked in the top 10, and it was in line to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament before COVID-19 ended the season. Kuberski was named the NTCA Division I Coach of the Year and the Southland Bowling League Coach of the Year in leading the Penguins' climb toward becoming one of the nation's elite programs.
Teams that were ranked in the top 25 of the final NTCA Top 25 Poll and had one of the top 25 GPAs: Adelphi, Delaware State, Duquesne, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, Louisiana Tech, Maryville, McKendree, North Carolina A&T, Sacred Heart, Tulane, UAB, UMES, Wilmington, Youngstown State.