Maryland Eastern Shore faces Morgan State on Saturday to start road to a fourth straight title.
Hawks are just one of seven teams in the nation to sport a combined 3.5 GPA or better.
New campaign looks for support for the school’s most successful athletic program.
Bandy earns new level of certification for her bowling knowledge.
Pair of Hawks ranked among the top 10 players in NCAA Bowling.
The Hawks came in eighth place at this year's Prairie View A&M Invite in Arlington, Texas.
2015 "The Harry's" (Photo by Lloydlee Heite)
See Megan Raymond's shots when UMES came from behind to win the 2015 MEAC Championship.
See Nick Sutton's shots from day two of the 2015 MEAC Women's Bowling Championship.
See Nick Sutton's shots from day one of the 2015 MEAC Women's Bowling Championships
Head coach Kayla Bandy is entering her fourth season at the helm of the Hawks’ bowling program, having already garnered a pair of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles, a USBC semifinals appearance and an NCAA semifinals appearance.
In 2013-14, her first season as head coach, Bandy led the program to a seventh Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship and an 11th straight NCAA Championship appearance. Her team made it all the way to the semi-finals of the NCAAs falling to eventual champion Sam Houston State to finish in third place. They put together a 95-23 record and were 28-2 in conference play.
An eighth MEAC title came the following season (2014-15) as the Hawks finished 29-1 in MEAC play. They went 29-1 in league play and 96-43 overall, the second most wins of any team in the NCAA that season. They won 70-percent of their matches played, including five tournament titles, three in the MEAC North, the MEAC Championship and the Mid-Winter Classic hosted by Arkansas State. They also bowled the third perfect Baker game in program history.
In 2015-16, the team finished 71-41 (18-6 MEAC) despite featuring eight new faces to go with returners Thashaina Seraus and Melanie Copey. The team finished in first place in the MEAC North Division and Bandy won MEAC Coach of the Year.
Seraus MEAC Bowler of the Year as well as being named runner-up for the International Bowling Media Association’s National Bowler of the Year.
While they did not gain an NCAA tournament berth, a late season run saw them make the semifinals at the USBC Championships. The Hawks finished the season ranked 12th in the National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) final poll.
A strong recruiting class and the unexpected return of Seraus — after gaining back a year of NCAA eligibility — lays the groundwork for another good campaign.
Bandy’s teams have also excelled off the lanes, winning the NTCA All-Academic award for having the highest GPA among all women’s bowling teams in the nation in 2014-15 (a first for UMES) while capturing the UMES Team of Scholars Award (highest team GPA of any team at the school) for each of her first three seasons.
She earned her USBC Silver coaching certification in April of 2015 and also bowls professionally as a PWBA member where she has a 203.99 average in 2016 after averaging 203.75 in 2015.
Bandy came to the Hawks from the University of Pikeville, where most recently she served as the assistant coach for the Bears.
While Pikeville bowls as an NAIA school, they are all too familiar to the Hawks. In 2008, Bandy bowled lead-off on the squad that topped UMES in the semi-finals of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Intercollegiate Team Championships. It was one of the most intense matches ever in the event, ending in favor of Pikeville 4.5-3.5. The Bears went on to win the school’s second national championship in the final match. UMES had to settle with just one title that year as they were coming off of their first NCAA National Championship a week earlier. Five years later in 2013, she was on the bench coaching when UMES topped Pikeville for the Hawks’ fifth
National Championship and second USBC Collegiate title.
As a bowler, Bandy is a two-time Junior Team USA Member (2005-06) and bowled at Pikeville from 2005- 2008. She was a four-time All-American, was named Rookie of the Year in 2005 and was the Collegiate Bowler of the Year by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA) and the then Bowling Writers of America (BWAA) in both 2007 and 2008. At the time, she was just the fourth woman ever to win multiple Player of the Year awards. Her senior year she amassed an average of 202 on the difficult sport patterns.
Bandy graduated from Pikeville in 2008 with a B.S. in Psychology.
She not only served as the Assistant Coach at Pikeville, but also worked as its Director of Residence Life, Student Activities Coordinator and Upward Bound Coordinator during her tenure.
Bandy was inducted into the Pikeville Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, the same year she entered the Danville (Va.) USBC Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the Virginia State USBC Youth Hall of Fame. Bandy now resides in Salisbury, Md. and is the daughter of Pamela and David Bandy of Danville, Va.
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