LINCOLN, Neb. – Stephen F. Austin’s Stephanie Schwartz claimed the women’s title and Kenny Ryan of Robert Morris-Illinois won the men’s division as the 2018 Intercollegiate Singles Championships came to a close on Saturday at Sun Valley Lanes.
Making her third consecutive appearance in the ISC finals, Schwartz beat Arkansas State’s Haley Richard, 259-226, in the title match while Ryan won the men’s title with a 217-191 victory over Calumet’s Jeffrey Holden.
CBS Sports Network taped both the men’s and women’s finals for broadcast. The women’s show will be televised April 24 at 8 p.m. Eastern, and the men’s final will air May 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Schwartz has advanced to the ISC finals each of the last two seasons but was knocked out in the semifinals each time. On Saturday, she won her semifinal match in a roll-off, and then started the title match with five consecutive strikes. She had 10 strikes and made two single-pin spares in the title match.
“I threw 12 really good shots and I knew that’s what I needed to do to win because Haley is a really good competitor and I knew she would come out strong,” Schwartz said. “I was a little shaky in the first match, but I did what I needed to win.”
In her semifinal match against Kelly Belzeski of Nebraska, Schwartz could not convert a 2-10 split in the second frame but Belzeski also would open in the fifth. Schwartz had the chance to close out the match with an eight-count on her final shot, but got just seven pins in a 201 tie, leading to a two-frame roll-off.
“It just put more fire under me,” Schwartz said. “I say I choked – I know I probably shouldn’t say that – but I knew I could do it and it just fired me up to do better.”
Schwartz took advantage when Belzeski missed on a single-pin spare to win the roll-off 40-28.
Richard made the final match with a 224-202 victory over Vanderbilt’s Kristin Quah. Richard struck on five of her first six shots. Quah came back with four consecutive strikes after a 7-10 split in the fourth, but could not catch Richard.
In the men’s final, Ryan struck on four of his first six shots while Holden had two open frames and a foul on a spare attempt. Holden made a comeback attempt with strikes in frames six through eight and added two more in the 10th.
But Ryan, making his second appearance in the ISC finals, finished with a clean game.
“I was little more relaxed going into this show,” said Ryan, who leaned on his experience from a semifinal loss in the 2016 ISC finals. “I was able to take it a little slower, take my time and know that the game goes by quick.”
Ryan reached the semifinal with a 226-220 victory over Wichita State’s Joseph Grondin. Grondin failed to convert a 2-4-10 split in the seventh frame while Ryan put together four strikes starting in the fifth frame.
Ryan left the door open when he failed to pick up a spare in the ninth. Grondin, needing a double in the final frame, got the first strike but left his second attempt wide right.
Holden finished his semifinal with five consecutive strikes to beat Calumet teammate Tyler James, 235-195, to reach the final.
The 2018 ISC featured 24 men and 24 women who earned their spots in the field by qualifying through one of four sectional events held throughout the country in March.
Competition at Sun Valley Lanes this week consisted of six qualifying games to determine seeding for the single-elimination match-play bracket. Bracket matches were three games, with total pinfall determining the winner.
BOWL.com’s BowlTV provided live coverage of the ISC leading up to the televised finals.
Visit BOWL.com/ISC for more information on the Intercollegiate Singles Championships.
2018 INTERCOLLEGIATE SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sun Valley Lanes, Lincoln, Neb.
Jeffrey Holden, Calumet def. Tyler James, Calumet, 235-195
Kenny Ryan, Robert Morris-Illinois def. Joseph Grondin, Wichita State, 226-220
Ryan def. Holden, 217-191
Haley Richard, Arkansas State def. Kristin Quah, Vanderbilt, 224-202
Stephanie Schwartz, Stephen F. Austin def. Kelly Belzeski, Nebraska, 201-201 (40-28 in roll-off)
Schwartz def. Richard, 259-226