TULSA, OKLA. Kansas University is the kingpin of men's college bowling.
Led by Rhino Page, Kansas rallied to down Saginaw Valley State, 2-1, Saturday to capture the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships at Riverlanes.
"We're extremely excited," KU coach Mike Fine said about the school's first national men's bowling championship since 1963.
After SV State won the first game by a score of 223-201, the Jayhawks recovered to win the best-of-three match 222-181 and 193-187.
"We bowled a great game in the first game and got beat," said Page, a sophomore from San Diego, who was named the Most Outstanding Performer in the men's division. "We knew we were going to have to post a good number and hang together as a team. It worked out for us."
Earlier in the semifinals, Kansas outlasted Fresno State, 4-2.
"We were down in about four of the matches Saturday, so it was no big deal at all," Fine said. "This team has shown remarkable resiliency this weekend ... they just find a way to make things happen."
Other members of KU's championship team are Marc D'Errico, a senior from Rochester, N.Y.; Alan Emmons, a senior from Loveland, Colo.; Jason Reese, a junior from Lenexa; Chris Dilley, a freshman from Overland Park; and Trent Overbey, a freshman from Berryton.
Kansas stood in fourth place after Thursday's qualifying, then won all three of its matches Friday to reach Saturday's semifinals.
"We're thrilled to bring the Helmer Cup back to Lawrence," Fine said. "This means a lot to the program. They've worked extremely hard for this."
Pikeville College defeated Wichita State on Saturday for the women's championship. KU's women finished fifth. KU's Kelly Zapf earned honorable mention All-American.
The IBC is the climax of the college bowling season, with the top 16 men's and top 16 women's teams squaring to determine the national champions.