By Emil Williams Jr.
ADDISON, Ill. – The finalists for the 2022 Intercollegiate Singles Championships were determined Wednesday at Stardust Bowl and features one player looking to repeat the success of a teammate and 2021 champion in the men’s field, while one of the women’s finalists needed extra frames to secure her spot in the semifinals.
The ISC semifinals and title matches, which will be one-game matches, will take place Saturday and be taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
In the women’s semifinals, Stephen F. Austin’s Chloe Skurzynski will face Duquesne’s Kiearra Saldi, with Saldi’s teammate, Olivia Farwell, squaring off against Vanderbilt’s Mabel Cummins.
In her opening match Wednesday, Skurzynski dispatched of Megan Hess of St. Ambrose, 622-572, but in the quarterfinal match against McKendree’s Hope Gramly, business picked up.
Skurzynski, who along with her Ladyjacks teammates finished second to Gramly and the Bearcats in last week’s NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship, trailed Gramly by 41 pins after two games but battled back late and had a chance to shut out her opponent with three strikes in the 10th frame.
After getting the first strike, she left a 4-6 split on the next shot and took one pin of count to finish with a game of 201 and a 661 series.
This left Gramly with multiple scenarios to secure the victory based on pin count, but any combination of tossing the first two strikes or securing at least nine on her first shot, followed by a spare and strike, would have allowed Gramly to advance.
On her first offering, Gramly left a 2-7 split and made the spare, which meant she needed to strike on her fill shot to tie. Gramly delivered the necessary hit to tie Skurzynski at 661, and the winner had to be determined by a ninth and 10th frame roll-off.
Gramly began the extra frames with a strike, but by the time she saw the lanes again, Skurzynski already had spared in the ninth, tossed two strikes in the 10th frame and added nine pins on her fill to finish with a score of 49.
Gramly again was in position to win by tossing the first two strikes in the final stanza, but she left a 1-2-4-6-10 on her first offering. The final tally was 49-26.
With a win, Skurzynski would join Stephanie Schwartz as the only players from Stephen F. Austin to win an ISC title (2018).
“It means a lot to get here,” Skurzynski said. “I think I had the toughest match in the building since we both shot 661 and went to a roll-off, so it does mean a lot. The bracket seeding and pairings were a little ironic since I was going against Hope for the show, but I think it’s a good thing to happen coming off last week’s NCAA tournament. It should also boost our confidence for the rest of the week. I heard them (teammates) cheering for me and Brystal, who bowled great, too, so it is good momentum rolling into the rest of the week.”
Saldi advanced by defeating Serenity Quintero of St. Francis-Illinois, 551-483, and McKendree’s Rebecca Hagerman, 647-513, and could potentially meet Farwell in the title match.
“It means everything,” Saldi said. “I love competing with her and next to her. She’s an amazing teammate, and I’m really hoping it’s the two of us in the finals.”
Farwell defeated McKendree’s Anna Warkel, 596-556, and Mount St. Mary’s Rebecca Dodson, 626-619, to earn her spot. As leaders on the team, both she and Saldi have their eyes set on helping their team reach their goal of winning a national championship.
“I know Kiearra and I look at ourselves as leaders on this team, and right now, I just want to get them to the end,” Farwell said. “It’s great we’re both in the finals, and we can check that off our lists, but at the end of the day, they’re still here with us and I’ve always been all about them. I want them to have as much success as I do.”
Last year, Cummins was the top seed but didn’t advance past the second round. On Wednesday, she earned a little redemption and looks to bring another title back to Vanderbilt.
“To bring a title home to Vanderbilt would be incredible,” Cummins said. “Not getting the mark I needed last year to advance in match play is a moment that has weighed heavily on my mind and fueled my drive to improve my game. This year, I am trusting the work I’ve put in, and my coach, to help me bring it home.”
Cummins defeated Kelsie Zanin of Webber International, 608-557, and Stephen F. Austin’s Brystal Beyer, 628-608, to earn a spot in the final four.
In the men’s semifinals, Daniel Chin of Calumet will meet William Paterson’s Brandon Vallone, while top seed Nathan Stubler of St. Ambrose will face CJ Petrin of Oklahoma Christian.
Chin is trying to become the second consecutive player from Calumet to win the men’s ISC title after Pete Vergos took home the crown in 2021. Chin also is representing the Calumet men’s team after the squad didn’t qualify for the Intercollegiate Team Championships for the first time since the program’s inception in the 2006-2007 season.
“I’m bowling for my teammates, my coach, my school and what the Crimson Wave is all about,” said Chin, who also is looking to win the title in his first year as an ISC qualifier. “Recently, I was watching Petey’s telecast, and he was just so calm and collected. I’m using that as motivation. I’m going to do my best to be that same person and try to make some history for the Crimson Wave.”
Chin began the day with a win over Newman’s James McIver, 647-599, and then saw the scoring pace dip a little in his match against McKendree’s Seth Gass. In a battle of spare shooting, Chin advanced, 562-504. In previous seasons, Chin had fallen just a few pins short of advancing each year and spent some time focusing on his spare game.
“I went back home, trained and worked on spares for countless hours,” Chin said. “I’ve only missed two the entire week and the work has paid off. Spares win tournaments, and this pattern really forced you to throw it good and make your spares. It’s something I’ve worked on the entire duration of the month.”
His opponent, Vallone, defeated Dakota Solonka of St. Ambrose, 604-550, and Webber’s Austin Grammar, 549-493, to advance. For Vallone, it’s all about confidence, which grew during his run.
“I’m feeling good, and this means a lot for me,” Vallone said. “It means a lot for my school, too. We’ve struggled this year with performance and making the big shots, so to come in and be able to do that means a lot for my confidence, and William Paterson gets to be on television.”
Stubler will return to television for the second consecutive year after helping St. Ambrose to a runner-up finish at the 2021 ITC. He’s happy to advance and is hoping he can help the team make a return trip.
“It’s a good way to start the week,” said Stubler, who defeated Calumet’s Dylan Dobran, 652-620, and Webber International’s Nick Larsen, 642-579, on Wednesday. “I was able to make the TV show, and hopefully we can do the same thing with the team. That’s the main goal. Our No. 1 goal is to make it as a team.”
Petrin, the lone freshman to advance to the semifinals, knocked off Pikeville’s Bryce Oliver, 630-587, and Rok Kostric of William Penn, 669-642, to earn his spot. Oklahoma Christian is making their first ITC appearance as a team this week, and Petrin has them off to a great start.
“It means a lot considering there are a lot of people who look up to me,” said Petrin, who was referring to the youth bowlers in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Now, I can show them my hard work is paying off and everything is coming together right now. I’m just hoping I can continue this throughout my college years and a few teammates will join me in the future. We’re here to compete with the best.”
The 24 men and 24 women competing at the Intercollegiate Singles Championships qualified through one of four sectional events held throughout the country in March.
The national event consisted of six qualifying games to determine seeding for the single-elimination match-play bracket. The bracket matches were three games, with total pinfall determining the winner.
CBS Sports Network will televise the semifinals and finals of the women’s division on April 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern, while the men’s division will air May 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
The Intercollegiate Team Championships, in which the top 16 men’s and top 16 women’s teams in the nation will compete for the Helmer Cup, starts Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern at Stardust Bowl.
BowlTV.com will provide live coverage of the ITC leading up to the televised finals.
Visit BOWL.com/ISC for more information on the Intercollegiate Singles Championships.
INTERCOLLEGIATE SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Stardust Bowl, Addison, Ill.
(Three games, total pins)
Nathan Stubler, St. Ambrose def. Dylan Dobran, Calumet, 652-620.
Nick Larsen, Webber International def. Dillon McArthur, Indiana Tech, 600-560.
Rok Kostric, William Penn def. Tyler Synovec, Newman, 599-513.
CJ Petrin, Oklahoma Christian def. Bryce Oliver, Pikeville, 630-587.
Brandon Vallone, William Paterson def. Dakota Solonka, St. Ambrose, 604-550.
Austin Grammar, Webber International def. Cameron Crowe, St. Ambrose, 711-584.
Seth Gass, McKendree def. Kai Yamada, Mount Mercy, 639-612.
Daniel Chin, Calumet def. James McIver, Newman, 647-599.
Stubler def. Larsen, 642-579.
Petrin def. Kostric, 669-642.
Vallone def. Grammar, 549-493.
Chin def. Gass, 562-504.
Saturday’s semifinals pairings
Stubler vs. Petrin
Vallone vs. Chin
Rebecca Dodson, Mount St. Mary’s def. Mary Orf, Wichita State, 605-572.
Olivia Farwell, Duquesne def. Anna Warkel, McKendree, 596-556.
Mabel Cummins, Vanderbilt def. Kelsie Zanin, Webber International, 608-557.
Brystal Beyer, Stephen F. Austin def. Tamera Stanton, Mount St. Mary’s, 605-581.
Rebecca Hagerman, McKendree def. Amanda Naujokas, Vanderbilt, 627-552.
Kiearra Saldi, Duquesne def. Serenity Quintero, St. Francis-Illinois, 551-483.
Hope Gramly, McKendree def. Shelbi Morris, Campbellsville, 593-579.
Chloe Skurzynski, Stephen F. Austin def. Megan Hess, St. Ambrose, 622-572.
Farwell def. Dodson, 626-619.
Cummins def. Beyer, 628-608.
Saldi def. Hagerman, 647-513.
Skurzynski def. Gramly, 661-661 *(Skurzynski won a ninth and 10th frame roll-off, 49-26).
Saturday’s semifinals pairings
Farwell vs. Cummins
Saldi vs. Skurzynski