Even at a crowded bowling center filled with people, noise and distractions, Wichita State bowlers stand out. The Shockers are college bowling heavyweights, so competitors have to work to not watch the team everybody is watching.
“When people face Wichita, their reputation either makes you bowl really well against them, because you’re inspired to do better, or some people tank because they can’t handle it,” Lindenwood (Mo.) University senior Amanda Richards said. “You’ve got to not think about it as them being the best team. You’ve got to think about your own game.”
WSU lived up to that reputation on Sunday, winning the MidStates Collegiate Bowling Tournament with the its men’s and women’s teams. The Shocker men, defending champions, finished with 13,613 pins to second-place Lindenwood’s 13,442. The WSU women regained the team title with 12,626 pins, ahead of defending champion Central Missouri’s 12,240. With the field of 23 women’s teams and 33 men’s teams up from roughly 42 last year, the tournament outgrew one site. Tournament sponsors WSU and Newman put the women at The Alley and the men at Northrock Lanes.
The Newman placed sixth with 12,568 pins. The Newman women placed seventh with 11,308 pins.
Midland (Neb.) bowler Sabrena Divis won the top individual honors for the women with 2,023 pins. WSU’s Jazreel Tan (1,935) finished second with teammate Tannya Roumimper (1,884) fourth. On the men’s side, Lindenwood’s Danny Spink placed first with 2,201 pins.
While it was the first tournament for many teams, WSU and Newman wanted a tough test and set the lane conditions accordingly.
“It’s as much a mental grind as it is physical,” WSU assistant coach Mark Lewis said at the women’s site. “You get good feedback on where your game is. This doesn’t let you get away with errant shots.”
Roumimper was off-target on Saturday, so much so that Lewis pulled her from the lineup. When she returned later Saturday and Sunday, she found a better groove and rolled the tournament’s high average of 209.3. She compiled the field’s fourth-best pinfall in nine games, while most bowlers rolled 10.
The chance to watch on Saturday helped Roumimper, a junior from Indonesia. She continued to talk with her teammates and figured out a better plan.
“When I am ready to throw the ball again, I know what’s going on in the lanes,” she said. “When you bowl, it’s harder for you to see what’s going on, with ball reaction, how the ball is going down the lane, which part of the lane the ball will hold on and where it will hook. When I go back in again, I really have a brand-new picture.”
Roumimper needed time to adjust to WSU’s philosophy of team first. Bowling for her country is a different experience.
“I know Coach knows best, so I put individual stuff aside,” she said. “Honestly, I struggled with it. Coming here, it’s all about the team. It’s one, Shocker bowling.”