March 19, 2017
2017 Vanderbilt Columbia 300 Music City Classic
Smyrna Bowling Center | Smyrna, Tenn.
Result: SFA finishes fourth among the 35-team field, going 9-4 on the weekend
Up Next: Southland Bowling Championship | March 24-25 | Jonesboro, Ark.
SMYRNA, Tenn. – Competing at the largest and deepest tournament of the regular season, Stephen F. Austin showed why they belong among the nation’s best, finishing fourth at the 2017 Vanderbilt Columbia 300 Music City Classic. The seventh-ranked Ladyjacks went 9-4 on the weekend as the fourth-place finish comes against a 35-team field which featured 19 of the nation’s top-20 teams.
• 2017 Vanderbilt Columbia 300 Music City Classic Final Results
Entering Sunday’s final round as the number four seed, SFA drew host Vanderbilt in the opening match of the best-of-seven baker style bracket play. The Ladyjacks raced out to an early 3-0 lead on the Commodores, including a 246-199 win in game two, before falling in game four 226-206. But SFA rebounded with a 221-191 win in game five, sealing the win and pushing them a victory shy of the championship bout.
That second match came against third-ranked Arkansas State as the match against the Red Wolves proved to a mirror opposite of the Vanderbilt bout. Arkansas State won the first three games with SFA notching a 242-224 win in game four, only to see the Red Wolves close it out in game five with a 236-160 decision.
Bowling for third place, SFA drew 11th-ranked Sacred Heart and came out strong against the Pioneers, taking the opening two games of the match 194-183 and 201-190. But momentum quickly shifted in Sacred Heart’s favor as SHU found its groove in game three, notching four-straight 200-pin games to defeat the Ladyjacks in six, including a 256-237 win in game six to close out the weekend.
Despite coming up short on Sunday, SFA still posted a strong result in its final regular season tournament of the year, going 9-4 on the weekend to up its season record to 75-41, marking the fourth-straight season the Ladyjacks have reached the 75-win plateau. It is also another top-10 team finish for SFA, extending its streak to 41-straight tournaments, while notching its seventh top-five team showing in nine events in 2016-17.
Top-ranked McKendree remains red hot, claiming another tournament title by defeating Arkansas State 4-1 in the championship match to finish the weekend with an 11-1 record. Host Vanderbilt finished sixth behind Sacred Heart and the Ladyjacks with Fairleigh Dickinson, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Delaware State, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Adelphi rounding out the top-10.
With the trip to Tennessee complete, SFA’s regular season is also in the books as now the attention turns to the postseason. That run begins next weekend at the 2017 Southland Bowling Championships, being held March 24 and 25 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Ladyjacks are hoping that effort will be enough to clinch their third-straight appearance in the NCAA National Championship, being held April 13-15 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
2017 Vanderbilt Music City Classic Final Round Results
Best-of-seven baker style bracket tournament
Match One: SFA 4, Vanderbilt 1
W, 212-183; W, 246-199; W, 222-217; L, 226-206; W, 221-191
Match Two: Arkansas State 4, SFA 1
L, 184-164; L, 257-197; L, 207-197; W, 242-224; L, 236-160
Third-Place Match: Sacred Heart 4, SFA 2
W, 194-183; W, 201-190; L, 204-153; L, 201-190; L, 243-185; L, 256-237