Emmitsburg, Md. – The Mount St. Mary's University women's bowling team announced its schedule for the inaugural season on Monday, as the Mountaineers prepare to join one of the toughest conferences the country has to offer in the Northeast Conference (NEC).
"Our inaugural season schedule is nothing short of challenging," said Head Coach Kenneth DeGraaf. "Just by being in a conference that boasts five of the top-20 teams in the country, we are guaranteed some tough competition. That being said, this is not a typical first-year program. We have some talented freshmen coming in who are eager to prove they belong at this level, and I believe they will do just that."
The Mountaineers open their season at the Bud-Whitman Memorial hosted by Kutztown University (Oct. 13-14), followed by the first home tournament in program history in the Mount Shootout (Oct. 20-21). The Mount then travels south for the Virginia Union Invitational (Nov. 2-4) before heading east for the stacked Hawk Invite hosted by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Nov. 16-18). Fall semester competition will conclude at the first NEC Jamboree (Dec. 1-2) of the season, which will consist of a single round of round-robin matches.
The Mount opens up the spring semester at the talented Kutztown University Invite (Jan. 18-20), which brings in some of the best programs from across the country. The Mountaineers will find themselves back in Kutztown for the Golden Bear Classic (Feb. 8-10) before heading to nearby Baltimore for the James Browne Invite (Feb. 15-17) hosted by Morgan State University. The regular season will conclude with the second and final NEC Jamboree (Feb. 22-24), which will feature two rounds of round-robin matches.
If the Mountaineers finish the regular season as one of the top-64 teams nationwide (NCAA, NAIA, and USBC teams included) in the USBC power rankings, they will qualify for the United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Sectionals (March 8-10) at a location still to be announced. The top-four teams from each of the four sectional locations will advance to the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships (April 17-20) in Dayton, Ohio.
The top-five teams after 21 matches in NEC round-robin play will qualify for the NEC Championships (March 22-24) in Howell, New Jersey. The NEC Champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championships (April 11-13) in Cleveland, Ohio.