Strike! Top College Women Bowlers Compete in NE Ohio

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WICKLIFFE, Ohio-- If turkeys and hambones are your thing, you need to get to Freeway Lanes in Wickliffe, where the country's best college women bowlers are rolling strikes.

Freeway Lanes in Wickliffe is hosting the NCAA Women's Bowling National Championships this weekend.

"Division 1, 2 and 3 schools all here competing under the same umbrella,” said MAC Sports Associate Commissioner Jeff Bacon.

Arkansas State comes into the championships as the number one seed.

"There is no more added pressure than if we were seeded 8th," said Amanda Labossiere, a member of the Arkansas State bowling team.

Last year's runner-up, Vanderbilt, is seeded third after qualifying on Thursday, but the Commodores have plenty of confidence heading into the championships.

"We won the only tournament that had all 8 teams, so I feel like we're able to control our emotions and keep things in check, we should be alright," said Vanderbilt Head Coach John Williamson.

Eight teams from all over the country are battling to become a national champion this week, including the defending champs, Nebraska, who competed most of the year without their head coach.

"January 9, I had an aortic aneurysm, a dissection. I haven't eaten since January 9, but my health is a whole lot better," said Bill Straub, Nebraska head coach.

"We had to learn to be more independent with our game and rally around each other," said Yan Ling Tan, a member of the Cornhusker bowling team.

Over 100 of the top college women bowlers in the country are competing this weekend.

"Females in general and growing up today don't necessarily know about some of the opportunities they have for scholarships and for college education and these girls are a great example of that," said Bacon.

The tournament is taking place in Northeast Ohio for the second time in the last three years thanks in large part to the Mid-American Conference and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

"You're looking at just this event in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic impact here in Northeast Ohio," said Nick VanDemark of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The champions will be crowned on national TV on Saturday with Northeast Ohio as the backdrop.

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