History had already been made for the Calumet College of St. Joseph men's bowling team. For the first time in school history, the team placed two bowlers into the USBC ISC national semi-finals in the same year, and making it three in total that have met that high mark overall. What was even better is that the Crimson Wave were guaranteed to have a bowler represent the school in the national championship round. Unfortunately, the results in the last game of the season were less than be desired, but cannot take away from the amazing journey the team had.
Jeffrey Holden (JR/Salem, Ore.) and Tyler James (JR/Deltona, Fla.) entered bracket play as the 14th and 23rd seed respectively. And yet here they were facing off in the national semifinals. "I think that with the fact that they were bowling each other, it allowed both guys to go out and throw good games," said head coach Mike Kubacki. And bowl great games they did. They were neck and neck throughout the contest before Holden pulled away. He would take the victory from James 235-195 to move onto the national championship match.
Kenneth Ryan from Robert Morris University was all that stood in the way of Holden and the ultimate singles collegiate crown. Ryan, already playing for the team title as well later in the day, was focused after squeaking by in this semifinal match. He was also still warmed up and fresh once play between him and Holden commenced and it showed. "Ryan was able to bowl in back to back matches, while Jeffrey had to sit and wait. I think that affected him in that last matchup," mentioned Kubacki. Holden got down early, but was able to storm back, putting pressure on Ryan. Ryan was up to the challenge however, and took the crown 217-191, leaving Holden as the 2018 USCB ISC Men's National Runner Up.
Despite the outcome, there is much to celebrate when it came to the 2017-18 men's bowling season. Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for an in-depth look back at the season, including interviews with Kubacki, Holden, James, and senior Michael Davidson.
For up-to-the-minute Crimson Wave sports news, visit us at ccsjathletics.com or download the CCSJ Athletics App on Google Play or the iTunes store. You can also follow CCSJ Athletics on social media on Facebook, @CCSJAthletics on Twitter and @crimsonwaveathletics on Instagram.