WE ARE THE (MEAC) CHAMPIONS
CHESAPEAKE, Va. – (March 24, 2014) - UMES brought home its
second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference bowling crown this past weekend
in a marathon duel with Florida A&M that required 14 games rolled over six
The third-ranked Lady
Hawks now await word from the NCAA later this week about whether they will be
invited to its national tournament. UMES already qualified to defend its 2013
U.S. Bowling Congress championship later this spring.
UMES’ protracted win
over Florida A&M pushed both squads to the physical limits of competition often
seen in a double-elimination format.
FAMU, which came
into championship Sunday with one loss in the tournament, earned a spot in the
finals against the undefeated and top-seeded Hawks by besting North Carolina A&T in a
semi-final elimination match early Sunday. The Rattlers then turned around and defeated
UMES 4-3 in the first match, forcing a second best-of-seven Baker game match.
(The Baker format
pits five bowlers from each team in a single game where each participant rolls
The championship match
went to the Lady Hawks, who staged a dramatic come-from-behind performance that
saw them win the final two games to edge FAMU 4-to-3.
“We stayed positive
and kept fighting until the very last shot,” junior Mariana Alvarado said.. “We overcame a lot of adversity today and we
are happy with the end result.”
Alvarado was named
the MEAC Championship Most Outstanding Player and an All-Tournament Team
selection. Megan Buja, the team’s lone senior,
was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
“It’s amazing to
have won three MEAC Championships in my career,” Buja said. “Today was a roller coaster but we stuck
together and never gave up. This just
shows how determined we were to win.”
Head Coach Kayla
Bandy was named the MEAC Championship’s Most Outstanding Coach.
“It feels good to
win my first MEAC Championship with these eight girls,” Bandy said. “They have worked so hard preparing for this
tournament, even though it showed more so on Friday and Saturday. They still
were able to grind through the adversity today.”
The win gives UMES
its seventh conference title in women’s bowling.
The match was taped
for a delayed broadcast on ESPNU on March 31 at 10:30 p.m.
Bandy utilized numerous
line-up changes throughout the day and UMES bowlers changed balls several times. At one point Buja was bowling anchor, junior Valerie
Riggin was leading off and Alvarado was anywhere between second and fourth.
“I tried to arrange the lineup based on who
was in the pocket the most," Bandy said. "We used the
10th frame on several occasions to start preparing for the next
game. The lanes were tough for us today
but we worked through it slowly, physically and mentally.”