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Penn College Bowlers Set for State Championships

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s bowling team hopes to put an exclamation mark on what already has been a successful season when it competes this weekend in the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Conference championships in Philipsburg.

Competition will be held in singles and doubles on Saturday at the Moshannon Valley Super Bowl and in team events on Sunday.

On Penn College’s Blue Team, that coach Deb Vincenzes said is made up of the “best of the best,” are Michael Pollock (sophomore/Sugarloaf), Matt Haulman (freshman/West Milton), Wesley Moyer (freshman/Fleetwood), Ryan Forry (sophomore/Lancaster), Merle Burkhart Jr. (freshman/Lancaster) and David Florist (sophomore/Horsham). Five of the six will interchange depending on the events. Doubles matchups will be Moyer-Pollock, Haulman-Florist and Forry-Burkhart.

Members of the college’s White Team, the “next best of the best,” are Warren Blume (sophomore/Aaronsburg), Bryann Bingaman (freshman/Middleburg), Ben Zech (junior/Dover), Ryan Wilson (freshman/Wellsboro), Joe Ianaro (junior/Frenchville) and Preston McKay (junior/Kersey). Again, five of the six will interchange. Doubles partners will be Blume-Wilson, Ianaro-McKay and Bingaman-Zech.

During the regular Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference season, Penn College ‘s Blue Team took first and its three White teams finished 1-2-3 . Its Blue Team won a midseason PCAA tournament and its White Team was second, and in the EPCC Tournament Feb. 20 the Blue and White teams again won championships.

“We were really happy with that,” Vincenzes said.

“The only thing missing this year was our girl’s team. We had a girl’s team for the first semester, but we did not for the second. I had a lot of very good female bowlers come out, but they didn’t stay,” the coach explained. “(But) I have a lot of good prospects for next year.”

Looking to this weekend’s championships in Philipsburg, the same site as the midseason tourney, Vincenzes said, “We’re looking forward to going back to that same establishment. Since we did so well at the half, our hopes are high that that will continue.”

“I would expect our Blue Team to be very competitive. I have high hopes for them. I hope that they once again will bring home the championship. I really hope that our White Team will hang in there and be second,” Vincenzes said.

Individually, the coach thinks that Burkhart, Forry and Pollock have the best shot at the overall events title.

“Merle (Burkhart) is probably the best consistent bowler, and then Ryan (Forry) and Mike (Pollock). They’re all so close. Merle is probably the standout, and he’s the only lefthander on the team, also,” the coach said.

“In order to win states,” Vincenzes said, “it’s an overall total pins knockdown for the whole weekend. You just don’t go in and win team events. You have to win the overall, and that includes three scores from doubles, all singles and the five-man team scores. And, they’ve added nine Baker games that are added onto the team score at the end; so anything can happen once you get to the Baker’s games.

“If you don’t have a big lead and you falter at all, the Baker games could make a difference in the championship,” she added.

In the Baker, the first bowler rolls the first frame, the second bowler the second frame, etc. “They all share a game and they do nine games of that,” Vincenzes said.

“There’s a lot of talent here. If they just put it together at the right time. We’ve been lucky so far. Maybe we will be able to do it again,” Vincenzes said.

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site).

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