McKendree wins 2020 Prairie View A&M Invitational at ITRC Article Image

McKendree was dominant over three days of competition at the 2020 Prairie View A&M Invitational and then survived two best-of-seven Baker matches Sunday afternoon to win the event for the second time in three years.

The Bearcats outdistanced the 12-team field by more than 360 pins through 25 Baker games and six traditional games to earn the top seed for the bracket portion of the event, but the 2018 Prairie View A&M Invitational champions were tested in match-play victories against Vanderbilt and Sam Houston.

After jumping out to a 2-0 lead over Sam Houston in the title tilt, the Bearcats exchanged wins with the Bearkats, before securing the 4-2 victory by a 247-158 margin.

McKendree seniors Taylor Bailey and Breanna Clemmer posted four consecutive strikes to close out the match and their final PVI event.

The team's semifinal win over 2012 champion Vanderbilt went the maximum number of games and nearly had a perfect ending for the Bearcats, who advanced to the championship match with a 299-231 seventh-game effort. Clemmer left a 10 pin on the final shot of the bid for 300.

Sam Houston State, ranked second in the nation behind McKendree in the latest coaches poll, had a little easier time getting to the final, defeating the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 4-1.

The 2020 PVI marked the ninth edition of the event. Vanderbilt won the inaugural tournament in 2012, before Nebraska reeled off five consecutive wins. After McKendree got the job done in 2018, Arkansas State was able to hoist the trophy.

Defending champion Arkansas State finished sixth at the 2020 event. The Red Wolves qualified sixth, defeated Stephen F. Austin, 4-1, and then fell to Nebraska, 4-1, in the match to determine the overall fifth- and sixth-place finishers.

All 12 teams this week bowled five five-game Baker matches Friday, five traditional games Saturday and one additional game Sunday, before being seeded into three best-of-seven match-play brackets based on total pinfall.

The top four teams were placed in one bracket, all with a chance to win the tournament. Seeds No. 5 through No. 8 were in a second bracket, and seeds No. 9 through No. 12 were in a third bracket.

In addition to the trophy, teams were competing to improve their overall records for the season, which helps determine the teams that will qualify for the 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Bowling Championship, being held in the Detroit area from April 10-11.

McKendree posted the top overall record for the weekend at the ITRC, finishing with a 10-1 mark, and the Bearcats locked up the No. 1 seed for bracket play with an 11,428 pinfall total.

Sam Houston edged UMES for the second spot, 11,066-11,021, while Vanderbilt turned in the highest game of the day Sunday (1,000) to vault over Nebraska and into the No. 4 position.

2020PVIAllTournamentForWeb250x140Individually, Maryland Eastern Shore's Cayla Hicks set the pace through the six traditional games and earned most-valuable-player honors with a 1,405 total, a 234.16 average on the weekend's 39-foot oil pattern. Hicks was the individual runner-up at the 2019 edition of the Prairie View A&M Invitational.

Clemmer (1,376) and Bailey (1,358) followed Hicks in the standings, also earning spots on the all-tournament team, where they were joined by Nebraska's Raquel Orozco (1,321) and their McKendree teammate Amanda Morgan (1,269).

All rounds and pairs of the 2020 Prairie View A&M Invitational were broadcast live at and now can be revisited in the BowlTV archives. Subscription is required.

Final standings based on outcome of Sunday's bracket matches (weekend record):

1, McKendree (12-1)
2, Sam Houston (8-5)
3, Vanderbilt (6-7)
4, Maryland Eastern Shore (6-7)
5, Nebraska (10-3)
6, Arkansas State (8-5)
7, Stephen F. Austin (7-6)
8, North Carolina A&T (6-7)
9, Wisconsin-Whitewater (7-6)
10, Prairie View A&M (1-12)
11, Fairleigh Dickinson (6-7)
12, St. Francis (1-12)

Previous Prairie View A&M Invitational champions:

2012 - Vanderbilt
2013 - Nebraska
2014 - Nebraska
2015 - Nebraska
2016 - Nebraska
2017 - Nebraska
2018 - McKendree
2019 - Arkansas State