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UMES takes sixth straight MEAC Northern Division crown


In their quest to win a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Northern Division title, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks bowling team needed a great weekend and some help to achieve their goal.

With seven wins out of eight, the Hawks covered their end of the bargain, then got the help they needed from division rivals to overtake Delaware State in the final stretch to claim first place and their sixth straight divisional crown.

The weekend concluded the regular season, with UMES going 18-6 in conference and Delaware State finishing at 17-7. Howard and Morgan State have also earned qualification to the MEAC Championships in late March.

On the first day, the Hawks got a jolt from sophomore Melanie Copey (Ontario, New York), who led the field during individuals with a 772 series, including a game high of 225. Three other Hawks – senior Thashaina Seraus (Oranjestad, Aruba), sophomore Jalesa Johnson (Delmar, Delaware) and freshman Danielle August (Mililani, Hawaii) earned top ten spots.

Copey’s 225 game came in the first matchup Saturday as the Hawks took charge against the Bison, 930-796. However, fortune would favor the Hawks’ challenger in the next matchup as the Delaware State (DSU) Hornets fermented their Northern Division lead with a 877-809 win.

Freshman Lindie Esteban (Kapolei, Hawaii) subbed in for the third game, but it was Seraus’ 211 game that ignited UMES to a 911-535 victory over Coppin State. The team then squeaked by a 882-847 score to defeat Morgan State to go 3-1 on the first day.

Going into the second day, UMES needed a victory over Delaware State and a pair of extra losses by the Hornets to claim the title.

Baker play started strong with a 880-793 victory over Howard and a 937-865 triumph over Morgan State, while the Hornets fell to the Bison and Bears during the same stretch. That set up what turned out to be the division clinching match.

UMES trailed after the opening match as DSU took the first ten, 167-146, but roared ahead with a Sunday high of 252, defeating the Hornets by 101 pins. After that the Hawks never looked back, registering games of 184, 201 and 192 on their way to a Sunday best 975. The eventual 180 pin defeat set up at least a tie for the five-time defending champions.

In the finale, the Hawks kept up the pace with a 236 in the first set against Coppin State and kept it up, bowling a 956 and guaranteeing themselves the North Division crown. But even though the Hawks won the division, they still have to bowl for seeding during the first day of the MEAC tournament.

However, the Hawks will compete in two tournaments before then, starting with the USBC Sectionals in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 11th to the 13th.

Herbert Bickel

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