Emmitsburg, Md. – Kiana Saito, a sophomore transfer from Maryville University (MO), is set to join the Mountaineers for the 2019-20 season. Saito originally bowled at Aiea High School in her hometown of Aiea, Hawaii.
"The unique thing about Kiana's situation is she never threw a ball during the 2018-19 season, making her eligible to compete right away in the eyes of both the NCAA and USBC," said Head Coach Kenneth DeGraaf. "I know Kiana is chomping at the bit to begin competing at this level. She certainly has the game to do so and I am confident she will take full advantage of this opportunity. I am happy the Mount worked out as her second shot. Her personality will fit well with this team and I think she will hit the ground running come October."
The track record is there for Saito to make an immediate impact with the Mountaineers. In 2017, she placed 16th out of 42 competitors at the prestigious Storm Youth Championships and followed that up with a runner-up finish in all-events at the Greater Hawaii USBC Youth Tournament. In 2018, Saito finished fourth at the Hawaii State Pepsi Youth Tournament and captured first place finishes in both singles and all-events at the Greater Hawaii USBC Youth Tournament.
Saito carries a high USBC certified average of 199, high game of 269, and high series of 716. She was the team captain of the Aiea High School bowling program and placed fourth individually at the high school state championships in 2017.
Saito will be one of five newcomers to the Mount bowling program including incoming freshmen Nichole Lewis (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Julia Mazzotti (Copley, Ohio), Amanda Yeung (Newark, Del.), and Meghan Yingst (Lebanon, Pa.) The newcomers will join a program that has established itself as a top-20 nationally ranked team in its inaugural season. Competition for the 2019-20 season will begin October 12-13 at the Bud Whitman Memorial in Reading, Pennsylvania.