The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is adding a women's bowling team, which will be the 15th program in the athletics department.
Under the guidance of athletics director Lori Mazza, the women's bowling team was formed as a club this year but will be eligible to compete and qualify for the NCAA regional and national championships in 2013-14.
With the addition of Pitt-Bradford's program, the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) will sponsor a women's bowling championship, which the Panthers will host in 2014 at Byllye Lanes, the team's home facility, where they will be joined by Medaille, Penn State Altoona and Mount Aloysius as the schools in the conference with qualifying teams.
"We are excited to add women's bowling, which will host and compete for an AMCC championship in the program's first year of existence," said Mazza. "In Division III, we are hoping not only to be competitive within our conference, but on the national stage as well.
"I have seen the commitment of those who are currently enrolled and those who have been recruited and look to make an immediate impact within the NCAA."
Although Pitt-Bradford is a chartered member of the NCAA Division III and will remain a member, women's bowling is a multi-divisional sport, which means the Panthers will compete against teams from all three levels of the NCAA.
While the inaugural schedule is not set, the Panthers will participate in the St. Francis Red Flash and Kutztown University tournaments, which consist of competing against upwards of six schools a day over a three-day period.
Women's bowling is the first sport to be added to the Pitt-Bradford athletics department since men's and women's tennis in 2008-09.