The first day of the Intercollegiate Team Championships on Thursday proved challenging, as an obviously difficult oil pattern made shot-making all the more imperative at the specially built arena lanes at the Raising Cane's River Center.
No team in the 16-men, 16-women field was able to average 200 for the 24-game Baker format qualifying as Webber International on the men’s side and Wisconsin-Whitewater on the men’s side rolled -56 totals based on a 200-game par (4,744).
In the Baker format, one bowler bowls the first and fifth frame, second and sixth and so on, and while strikes were great, the ability for bowlers to get count and spares proved to swing many games once match play began.
No. 12 seed William Paterson beat No. 5 seed Morehead State 4-0, and No. 13 William Penn downed No. 4 seed Notre Dame-Ohio 4-1 on the men’s side. The two teams met in round two and that guaranteed one double figure seed, in this case William Patterson (4-2 winner over William Penn), advancing to the bracket semifinals at 1 p.m. on fresh oil Friday.
The other men’s teams with two wins Thursday were defending champion McKendree, 11-time champion Wichita State and Wisconsin-Whitewater, the only team to go 8-0 in the best-of-7 matches in the two rounds.
The only seeded team upset in the first women’s round saw the No. 5 seed, Lindenwood, lost to Newman 4-3. But NCAA champion McKendree got their second win of the day over the Jets 4-1.
The other women’s undefeated after two rounds were Wisconsin-Whitewater, Pikeville and Webber international.
No women’s match in either of the first two rounds was able to be decided in only four games.
The eight losing men’s and women’s teams would come back for the first of several elimination rounds at 7:45 p.m. There could be as many as six rounds of competition that would decide the final two men’s and women’s teams for Saturday’s television tapings.