Victoria Jones earned her first All-Tournament Team honors at the Mid-Winter Classic.

Jan. 16, 2012

JONESBORO, Ark. - In the final event of her legendary coaching career, head coach Sharon Brummell saw her Lady Hawks battle back from a rough day one to claim fifth place at the Mid-Winter Classic, hosted by Arkansas State University.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) keglers started off day one with five game Baker format matches, struggling to a 2-3 record and seventh place overall. Brummell jostled the line-up many different ways, even inserting newcomer Valerie Riggin (Vista, Calif.) into one game but was unable to find much consistency. The lead-off spot, occupied by lone senior Paula Vilas (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) was solid and the team got a lift in the final two games from freshman Victoria Jones (Baltimore, Md.) who helped them close the day with a win over No. 6 Central Missouri (1032-979). The prior game saw the Hawks almost get back on track, dropping a 15-pin decision to No. 8 Nebraska 935-920.

UMES topped Prairie View A&M in game one (869-825), but fell to No. 6 Vanderbilt 1041-883 in game two by 158 pins. They were upset in game three by Jackson State (876-791) before Brummell inserted Jones.

Jones' play on day one and the momentum of the Central Missouri win sparked a good start to day two's team games. They opened with a loss to No. 8 and host Arkansas State, but bowled well, posting 1001 to the Red Wolves' 1071. They rolled past Texas Southern (933-777) and Southern Universities (970-856) in the next two games before being upset by Elmhurst by just five pins, 976-981. They closed the day with a win over No. 5 Sam Houston State by just two pins, 997-995 and moved up to sixth place overall.

In team games, Jones' shined, earning All-Tournament Team honors, finishing third overall with a pinfall of 1063 over five games, averaging a 212.50. She was just one of three in the 128 woman field to average over a 210 for the day. She posted a career high 257 in the Arkansas State loss and posted games of 218, 212, 203 and 173 for the day.



Sophomore Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) and junior T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.), both fresh off Team USA try-outs, were solid, finishing 18th and 24th respectively. Buja averaged a 196.50 while Falbo averaged a 192.80. Buja's high was a 226 in the Elmhurst loss while Falbo tallied a 213 in the Sam Houston win.

Vilas was 41st overall, bowling just four games, including a 201 in the Southern win. Tatiana Munoz (Ibague Tolima, Colombia) bowled three games, averaging a 200.33 and a high of a 204 in the Southern win.

Seeded sixth entering the final day, UMES took on the Bearkats of Sam Houston State in a best-of-four Baker format. UMES took down the Kats in four games.

Next was a showdown with Nebraska, the four seed, who fell to third-seeded Central Missouri in their opening match. The contest was a thriller, going all seven games as two of the winningest programs in college bowling history went back and forth. The Huskers won game one by just 15 pins, but UMES dominated game two 235-148 to even the match. The Huskers took game three by 17 pins but UMES came back again, tying at two all with a 268-225 win in game four. Both teams struggled in game five, with Nebraska getting the ten pin win, 177-167 before UMES tied it at three games each with a 236-193 win.

The seventh and final game would be a thriller as Nebraska took the win 198-191, a seven pin win. Despite falling in the match UMES actually tallied 133 pins more than the Huskers.

With one more match to go the Hawks sent their prestigious leader out with a win, topping Sam Houston State once again, 4-1, to claim fifth place in the Mid-Winter Classic.

Vanderbilt won the event, with host Arkansas State taking second, Central Missouri third and Nebraska fourth. Sam Houston State, Valparaiso and Louisiana Tech rounded out the top eight teams.

"We really showed some heart on the final day," said Brummell. "I know this was an emotional trip for the team, it was for me, but they are in good hands and I know they will all do really well. I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching every young lady to have passed through this program, it has been a truly awesome experience."

Brummell hands off the torch to Kristina Frahm, who will make her coaching debut next weekend at the New Year's Knockdown in New York, hosted by Saint Francis.

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