A year ago, Kansas University's men's bowling team won its first national championship in 41 years.
"We were awfully good for three days," KU coach Mike Fine said about the 2004 tournament, "and that's what you need."
Fine will find out this weekend if his men's team can put together three more good days. The 2005 Intercollegiate Bowling Championships will run today through Saturday in Rockford, Ill.
"We feel if we take care of business and get a break or two," Fine said, "we have a good chance of repeating."
Junior Rhino Page certainly enhances the Jayhawks' chances. Page, a junior from San Diego, was named MVP of last year's IBC tourney in Tulsa, Okla., and later won the U.S. Amateur championship.
Page's average of 213.56 ranks third in the nation going into this week's 16-team championship.
Olathe junior Chris Dilley and Topeka sophomore Trent Overbey are the other returnees from last year's championship team. The remaining three slots will be filled by Dan Ahl, Patrick Eighmy and Zach Taylor, juniors who transferred from other schools.
Kansas qualified for the national tourney during a sectional last month in Chattanooga, Tenn.
KU's women's team also earned a berth in the nationals. Both KU teams finished third in the qualifying meet.
Kelly Zapf, the only senior on either KU squad, is the top player on the women's team. She'll be joined by juniors Sarah Roenfeldt, Kelly Sanders and Leanne Downey, and freshmen Nikki Johannes and Natalie Bennett.
"Our girls have been so good the last two years," Fine said. "They were fourth two years ago and fifth last year. It wouldn't surprise me if they surprised some people this time. They're right on the cusp."
However, the spotlight will be on the Kansas men, who will be hoping to become the first men's team to repeat since Western Illinois in 2001 and 2002.
"What you need to do is put yourself into a position to be successful, and we've done that," Fine said. "We've won four tournaments, so we've been solid."
Competition will begin today with 32 Baker System games to determine seeds for the double-elimination match-play format, which will begin Friday morning. The semifinals and finals in both men's and women's divisions will be Saturday.