SFA Finishes Fifth at Kutztown Invitational
Jan. 26, 2014
READING, Pa. - Stephen F. Austin capped is final day of the Kutztown Invitational with an impressive showing, taking all three of its best-of-seven matches to vault into fifth-place in the overall standings. The Ladyjacks closed out the three-day event with an 11-4 mark, capturing their fourth top-five tournament finish of the season.
Entering Sunday's final round in eighth-place among the 26-team field, SFA drew Norfolk State in the first of its three best-of-seven baker matches. The Ladyjacks squeaked out a 193-192 victory in the first game, then proceeded to take the next two 210-178 and 225-205. The Spartans would take the fourth 214-185 before SFA closed out the match in five, taking the final game 205-167.
Up next for the Ladyjacks was North Carolina A&T as once again SFA raced out to a commanding 3-0 lead after the first three games, winning the first 190-182, the second 181-139 before notching an overwhelming 277-170 victory in the third. After dropping the fourth 209-167, the Ladyjacks responded with a 222-181 fifth-game tally, giving SFA 10 victories for the tournament.
The final match of the tournament put SFA head-to-head against eighth-ranked Valparaiso, a team that seemed to have the Ladyjacks number this season. It proved to be one of SFA's most memorable matches of the season, beginning with two impressive games as the Ladyjacks raced out to a 2-0 lead behind commanding 266-168 and 242-153 victories.
After tying the third game 213-213, SFA was once again poised to make short work of an opponent, taking a 224-207 victory in the fourth. But the Crusaders rallied to notch wins in both the fifth (238-179) and sixth (217-154) games, setting up a memorable seventh game. SFA put together one of its top games of the season, throwing strikes through the first 10 frames and ending with a season-best 288, routing Valparaiso 288-161 to secure the fifth-place finish.
SFA has now finished among the top-five in four tournaments on the season as the Ladyjacks remain ranked among the top-five teams in the country. Maryland Eastern Shore captued the team title, besting Wisconsin-Whitewater in the championship round, with Vanderbilt and Fairleigh Dickinson joining the Ladyjacks in the top-five among the challenging 26-team field.
The Ladyjacks remain in the midst of their 2014 winter schedule, returning to action next weekend at the Prairie View A&M Invitational. The three-day event, which will be held in Arlington, gets underway Friday, January 31st before wrapping up on Sunday, February 2nd.
2014 Kutztown Invitational Final Day Results
Final Top-10 Standings (26-Team Field)