By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-in-Chief
Newman’s men’s and women’s bowling teams, closing in on the end of their regular season, are both having much success on the lanes. Most recently, the women’s team won the Saints Classic, which was its second tournament win in a row. The men’s team recently placed third in the Glenn Carlson championship in Las Vegas and moved up to No. 10 nationally in the NCBCA coaches poll.
Head coach Billy Murphy said the confidence that this success brings will only help to push the team further.
“I think anytime you’re having success, it builds confidence, and our team’s confidence gets stronger every day,” Murphy said.
Murphy also said that the women’s team moving into NCAA Division II and joining the Great Lakes Valley Conference this year has changed a lot for both teams, but that their success proves that they have adapted. The move marks the first time that the men’s and women’s teams are on different schedules and don’t compete at the same places.
“It’s a tribute to our student athletes’ willpower and mental strength to be successful in a time of huge change,” Murphy said.
The players are also feeling the effects of success. Women’s senior bowler Morgan Cooper placed second individually at the last two tournaments and earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Saints Classic in Fairview Height, Illinois, for averaging 210 pins for the tournament.
“It feels good to know that my scores are matching up with the amount of work I have been putting in and that the team has been so successful recently,” Cooper said.
Cooper said that while her individual results motivate her, she is mainly focused on helping her team make the postseason. She said that her proudest moment for the team this year was when they came back from an 0-2 deficit to beat Maryville 4-3 in the semifinals.
“One of our main focuses this season has been to always stay in the moment and recognize that we can do anything we put our mind to,” Cooper said.
She also said that the women’s team goal for the last three regular season tournaments is to work hard enough to make it to the postseason for both USBC Collegiate and NCAA competitions.
“We are now beginning to be recognized as a top NCAA program, and that is something that I think the whole team is proud to be a part of,” Cooper said.
As for the men’s team, freshman Cole Munley said he feels honored to be a part of the bowling team. He said that being at Newman has taught him a lot, mainly how to cope with the differences between high school and college competitions.
“I have also been able to learn just how much I love the community here at Newman. It really does feel like home,” Munley said.
He said he feels proud of himself for getting the opportunity to compete on the varsity team as a freshman for several of the tournaments this year. He also expressed his thanks to Coach Murphy for giving him the opportunity to compete at Newman.
“The proudest team moment has got to be the win at the Jayhawk Classic when we beat WSU in the final match,” Munley said.
Munley said that he is looking forward to the last few tournaments as the postseason draws closer, but he is also excited to continue making memories with his teammates.
The women’s next tournament will be the Flyer Classic this weekend in Lockport, Illinois. The men’s team placed second in the McKendree Baker Challenge in Fairview Heights, Illinois, this past weekend and their next tournament will be the Hoosier Classic on Feb. 18 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Newman Athletics