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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For more information contact SID Eric Kunick @ 608-796-3820


 La Crosse, WI – Viterbo University athletics director Barry Fried announced today that varsity men’s and women’s bowling would be added to the athletics department in 2009-2010.

“We’re very excited to add men’s and women’s intercollegiate bowling at Viterbo,” commented Fried. “It’s a great lifetime sport and one of the fastest growing sports in the country.”

Fried also announced on Tuesday that Pla-Mor Lanes and the university have agreed on a partnership for Pla-Mor to be the home practice and competition facility for the V-Hawks.

“We’re very excited to enter into a partnership with Viterbo University and their bowling program,” stated Dick Zierke, owner of Pla-Mor Lanes. “This is absolutely huge both locally and nationally for the bowling community and we feel very fortunate to be apart of this.”

There are two questions that tend to be asked when someone hears that we are adding bowling: why bowling and who are you going to compete against? First off, bowling is big in high school age kids and it provides a brand new option for prospective students looking to continue their bowling careers. In Wisconsin alone, 132 high schools and over 2500 students currently participate in organized bowling. Wisconsin is one of the top 10 states in the nation for bowling participation. 

“I know there are some great youth and high school bowling programs right here in the Coulee Region and we’d like to offer those students an opportunity to bowl at the next level when they’re considering a college,” commented Fried. “We’re also excited to begin our partnership with Pla-Mor Lanes.  Dick and Lori (Zierke) run a first-class operation at Pla-Mor and are very well respected in the bowling community.”

Secondly, we are excited to announce that we are the only men’s varsity college team and we join UW-Whitewater as the only other team to have a varsity women’s bowling team in Wisconsin. But that does not mean that we are limited on competition. Almost every college in Wisconsin has bowling as a club sport and can compete against varsity programs. The United States Bowling Congress is the national governing body for bowling and ­oversees all competition for all intercollegiate competition (varsity and club). Viterbo is hopeful to add to the success that UW-Whitewater has had as they finished third at the National USBC Collegiate Championships this past season.

“UW-Whitewater elevated women’s bowling to varsity status in 2004 and it has exceeded all our expectations,” stated UW-Whitewater’s athletics director Paul Plinske. “Bowlers have come in from all over the country to fill our 18-member roster. We have ample competition opportunities, but are always looking for more. We are excited to have Viterbo join us in intercollegiate competition.”

Men’s and women’s bowling is the third sport to be added in three years for the V-Hawks as they added men’s and women’s golf last fall and will start men’s and women’s cross country this fall. As of 2009-2010, the V-Hawks will sponsor 13 sports. The bowling season runs from October to March and will feature tournament throughout the Midwest. Standard collegiate competition utilizes a five player team with each teams regular travel roster consisting of up to eight players.

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