First team victory brings MCC banner home

The Fighting Bees took home their first team victory by winning the conference crown.

On Saturday, the Fighting Bees were led by Joe Kopera, who finished second individually, averaging 224.

The Fighting Bees entered Sunday in second place, which was 90 pins behind William Penn University.

Kyle Anderson also bowled all six games on Saturday and averaged 196 on the day.

The first 12 games on Sunday saw the field come close together in score, but St. Ambrose was still in second. However, the Fighting Bees slipped to fourth before match play started.

The Fighting Bees wouldn’t lose their confidence as they were the number four seed and would face the number five seeded Clarke University.

The Fighting Bees swept the Crusaders in two games in the best of three series and advanced to face the number one seed William Penn.  

In the semifinals, the Statesmen would come out striking early but not often as the Fighting Bees rallied and won game one. Game two would be all St. Ambrose as they beat the Statesmen and eliminated them from the tournament.

The finals paired the Fighting Bees against the V-Hawks from Viterbo University, a team they lost to two weeks ago in the finals of the V-Hawk Invitational.

Viterbo, the number two seed, beat Mt. Mercy in the semifinals to reach the finals. However, it was another one-sided match for the Fighting Bees as they swept the V-Hawks.

“We’ve been knocking on the door for two years now and to finally get that win at conference is an amazing feeling,” men’s coach Duane Fleming said.

On the other side of the house, the women struggled Saturday and Sunday but managed to be the number five seed heading into match play. On Saturday they were led by Aretha Williams who averaged 206 for six games.
Despite their struggles, the Queen Bees pulled a few upsets as they beat Grand View, using all three games to do it.

The semifinals would put them up against the number one seed as well, but it would go down to the deciding third game. The Queen Bees were able to sneak by the V-Hawks to advance to the conference finals.

The Queen Bees were matched up with the Mt. Mercy Mustangs for the title match. The first game would go to the Queen Bees but they were unable to close the door in the second game.

The third game was a close game that came down to the ninth and tenth frames. The Queen Bees opened in the ninth and left the door open for the Mustangs. The Mustangs slammed the door shut as they finished strong by winning the conference title.

Anderson was named the All-Conference team and Kopera was named Newcomer of the Year for the Fighting Bees. Maggie Suchoski was named to the All-Conference team. Becca Czlapinski was named Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year for the Queen Bees.

The Fighting Bees and Queen Bees will travel to the Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis on Feb. 16-17. will stream the event live online starting Saturday.

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