Dukes bowling finding early season success

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | The bowling team poses for a picture earlier this season.
Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics | The bowling team poses for a picture earlier this season.

Pat McTiernan | Staff Writer

Oct. 24, 2019

Boasting a 15-4 record, the Duquesne women’s bowling team appears to be hitting their stride just as the leaves fall.

With a second-place finish last weekend at Mount Shootout, Duquesne knocked off No. 15 Delaware State before falling to No. 23 Youngstown State in the final match.

The 10 right-handers and their coach, Jody Fetterhoff, are looking to continue their positive trajectory on Nov. 1 in Houston, Texas for the Track Kat Klash. The Duquesne Dukes women’s bowling team, ranked 18th in the nation by the NTCA Coaches poll, did not exist prior to Coach Jody Fetterhoff’s hiring in October 2015.

“I played soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse and then bowling. By far bowling is the most mentally draining.”

A bowler her whole life, Fetterhoff first experienced the trials of coaching at the college level when she was a junior in college.

Following her freshman year with the Shippensburg University club team, Fetterhoff spent her sophomore season at Maryland Eastern Shore before returning to a revived Shippensburg program with a plethora of young talent. A player-coach in both her junior and senior season, Fetterhoff vividly remembers the rare position that she held with the Raiders.

“I was 21 having to pull my friends and roommates.” Despite her prominent role coaching Shippensburg, Fetterhoff says that she never visualized herself as a collegiate head coach until Shippensburg’s bid to nationals coincided with her obligations to earning her teaching degree.

Grateful for the opportunity to compete alongside her teammates, Fetterhoff reminisces about those days.

“They could have said no,” she said.

Taking a week off of classes to lead her team on the national stage, Fetterhoff soon realized that she could make a career out of her coaching ability.

After a year as a graduate assistant for Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, Fetterhoff spent over five years as the head coach of the Adrian College women’s bowling team.

A Division III program with no opportunity to offer athletic scholarships, Fetterhoff brought her team to nationals after four years with zero of those athletes on scholarship. “You just have to believe you’re capable of doing it … which is the hardest part.” Fetterhoff said.

Now four years into her tenure with Duquesne, her competitive and committed culture is personified through her team.

Competing in the classroom as well as on the concourse, Duquesne’s team average of a 3.601 grade point average was third highest in the country last season.
“The biggest thing that attracted me to come here is the academic nature,” Farwell said.

Junior Olivia Farwell has been a bright spot for Duquesne over her first two seasons. A second-team All-American last year, Farwell was born into a proud bowling family. Her grandparents own and operate Clearview Lanes in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.

According to Coach Fetterhoff, Farwell is one of the most “team-natured” players she has ever been around.

The first bowling prospect Fetterhoff recruited to Duquesne, Farwell says the team is “very excited” to compete in Houston next week against the highest level of competition.

“We walk into a tournament and we see a team like Vanderbilt or SFA (Stephen. F Austin)… it’s another one of us,” said the All-American, who once bowled a perfect 300 with Duquesne and carries herself with quiet confidence. As opposed to individual stats, Farwell focuses her time on “being aware of anything I could do to help the team.”

Wearing the title of underdogs with pride, the Duquesne women’s bowling team has the work ethic and demeanor of a national champion.

After finishing in 5th place on the national stage last year, Duquesne is ready to take on anyone in their path.

“We’re motivated.” Farwell said.