The No. 8 Youngstown State bowling team will begin a key three-tournament stretch over the next four weeks when it travels to Jonesboro, Ark., this weekend for the Mid-Winter Invitational. The tournament will be hosted by Arkansas State at the Hijinx Family Entertainment Center on Friday through Sunday.
All 13 of Youngstown State's matches will be streamed live on the YSUsports YouTube channel, pending a strong wireless signal.
Seven of the top eight teams in the country will compete at the Mid-Winter Invitational, and similarly competitive fields are expected when the Penguins compete in tournaments hosted by No. 3 Nebraska and No. 4 Vanderbilt in two and three weeks, respectively.
The Mid-Winter Invitational will follow the traditional structure of a three-day tournament. The eighth-ranked Penguins will bowl in five sets of five-game, head-to-head Baker matches on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern, and five traditional head-to-head matches will follow on Saturday starting at 10:25 a.m. Eastern. The total pinfall from the first two days of qualifying will determine seeds for bracket play on Sunday, and teams will start competing at 9:25 a.m. Eastern in three best-of-seven Baker matches to decide the final standings.
Previewing the Field
Seven of the top eight teams in the country will be among the field of 19 teams at the Mid-Winter Invitational this weekend. Youngstown State, which was tied for eighth in February's NTCA Top 25 Poll, will be joined by top-ranked McKendree, No. 2 Sam Houston, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Arkansas State and No. 7 Stephen F. Austin at the tournament. The field also includes top-25 teams Louisiana Tech, UW-Whitewater, Tulane, Maryville, UAB and Lincoln Memorial. The Penguins are scheduled to bowl head-to-head matches in qualifying against Tulane, Nebraska, Sam Houston, Maryville, Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin. Seven of the Southland Bowling League's eight teams will also be in attendance at the tournament.
Friday – Five Baker matches beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern
- #8 Youngstown State vs. #16 Tulane – Lanes 25 & 26
- #8 Youngstown State vs. Drury – Lanes 13 & 14
- #8 Youngstown State vs. #3 Nebraska – Lanes 9 & 10
- #8 Youngstown State vs. #2 Sam Houston State – Lanes 15 & 16
- #8 Youngstown State vs. rv Jackson State – Lanes 7 & 8
Saturday – Five traditional matches beginning at 10:25 a.m. Eastern
- #8 Youngstown State vs. Alabama A&M – Lanes 19 & 20
- #8 Youngstown State vs. #19 Maryville – Lanes 27 & 28
- #8 Youngstown State vs. #11 La Tech – Lanes 5 & 6
- #8 Youngstown State vs. Bye – Lanes 25 & 26
- #8 Youngstown State vs. #7 Stephen F. Austin – Lanes 13 & 14
Sunday – Three best-of-seven Baker bracket matches beginning at 9:25 a.m. Eastern
Recapping the Red Flash Invitational
Youngstown State held the top seed through two days of qualifying and finished the Red Flash Invitational in third place on Jan. 24-26 at Holiday Bowl in Altoona, Pa. It was the third top-three finish at a tournament for the Penguins this season, who had two third-place finishes combined in their first three seasons as a Division I program.
Individually, Emma Wrenn and Emma Dockery both placed in the top five at the tournament three weeks ago. Wrenn posted a five-game total of 990, topping out at 233 and registering four games of at least 190, to finish as the tournament's runner-up. She went on to earn honorable mention accolades in the Southland Bowling League's January Bowler-of-the-Month vote. Dockery finished fifth at the Red Flash Invitational with a 950.
As a team, YSU had the highest opening-day pinfall by 319, and the Penguins set a new school record for highest game with a 260 on the final day of competition.
Youngstown State will be idle next weekend before competing in its final two tournaments of the regular season the following two weekends. YSU will bowl at Nebraska's Big Red Invitational from Feb. 28 through March 1 and Vanderbilt's Columbia 300 Music City Classic March 6-8. The Southland Bowling League Championship is Feb. 20-22.