SPORTS DIGEST || YSU bowling joins Southland Conference


Youngstown State University’s bowling program is set to join the Southland Bowling League for competition beginning in the 2018-19 season, the league and YSU jointly announced on Tuesday.

The Penguins become the eighth team to join the Southland Bowling League, whose champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The Southland Bowling League features two of the past three national champions and five teams that ranked in the final National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 25 Poll in 2018.

Other members of the league include Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Tulane, Valparaiso and Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is the defending national champion, and Stephen F. Austin claimed the national title in 2016.

Youngstown State takes the place of Monmouth, which accepted an invitation to join the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in June, in the Southland Bowling League. Of the eight teams in the Southland Bowling League, only Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin are also in the Southland Conference.

Youngstown State will begin its third season of intercollegiate competition in 2018-19. The Penguins finished the 2016-17 campaign ranked 25th in the final NTCA Top 25 Poll, and they received votes in every poll in 2017-18. YSU has earned five wins over top-10 teams and 30 victories over top-25 teams in its first two seasons. The Penguins were not members of a conference in their first two seasons.

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