DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Second-seeded Mount Mercy came up with a four-pin victory over fifth-seeded St. Ambrose in game three of the match play finals to earn the first Midwest Collegiate Conference women's bowling championship in school history on Sunday at Cherry Lanes.
Both semifinals went three games, with the Mustangs moving past sixth-seeded Clarke and the Queen Bees edging top-seeded Viterbo (Wis.). In the finals, St. Ambrose got game one, 190-179. Mount Mercy took game two, 170-161, then clinched the MCC title with a 170-166 victory in game three.
The Mount Mercy men entered match play seeded third and defeated sixth-seeded Grand View, 2-0, in the opening round. Second-seeded Viterbo took out the Mustangs in the semifinals, 2-0, then lost to fourth-seeded St. Ambrose, 2-0, in the finals.
The Clarke Conference Invitational and MCC Championships began on Saturday with six team games. Seedings for Sunday's match play were based on that. Mount Mercy finished 157 pins back of Viterbo after six women's games, while the Mustang men were 93 sticks behind St. Ambrose and 134 pins back of William Penn.
Freshman Tessa Friason led the Mount Mercy women and finished ninth overall with 1,142 pins (190.3 avg) in six Saturday games. Freshman Samantha Smart was 21st (1,072 pins/178.7 avg/6 games), sophomore Naomi Fisher 32nd (962/192.4/5 games), freshman Bianca Curtis 42nd (796/199.0/4 games), freshman Nicole Pochay 55th (542/180.7/3 games), freshman Kendra Ballensky 56th (533/177.7/3 games) and sophomore Audrey Manternach 57th (508/169.3/3 games).
Freshman Jeff McCann of the Mustang varsity squad ended up seventh on the men's side with 1,275 sticks and a 212.5 average over six games. Freshman Cody Taylor joined him in the top 10, finishing ninth with 1,258 pins and a 209.7 mark. Graduate student Bryan Tippett almost cracked the top 10, placing 11th (1,238 pins/206.3 avg/6 games). Sophomore Dylan Walters was 17th (1,186/197.7/6 games), freshman Travis Smart 59th (586/195.3/3 games) and sophomore Nathan Wright 65th (496/165.3/3 games).
The Mount Mercy men's junior varsity was led by sophomore Ryan Miller, who finished 37th with 924 pins and a 184.8 average in five games. Freshman Jeremy Cline was 39th (899 pins/179.8 avg/5 games), freshman Adam Pladna 45th (819/163.8/5 games), freshman Robert Wyant 48th (795/159.0/5 games), sophomore Ehren Merfeld 58th (594/148.5/4 games), freshman Jared Gosse 66th (484/161.3/3 games) and senior Rodney Jackson 67th (442/147.3/3 games).
Next up for the Mount Mercy men's and women's bowling teams will be the Backhaul Direct Hoosier Classic this weekend at Western Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind.