Hawks bound for USBC Nationals after 2nd Place at Sectionals
March 14, 2017

ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania -

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore put up a total pin fall of 12,279 over 64 grueling team Baker games March 11-12 to finish second — behind Webber International and earn a spot in the United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships April 20-22.

The Hawks averaged a 191.86 over two days of competition at the USBC ITC Sectional qualifying and finished ahead of 14 other teams.

This past weekend was a complete team effort, head coach Kayla Bandy said. In a pretty long Baker format like this sectional event where we bowl for about 8 hours straight each day, you know you will have to utilize your entire roster. We used all eight players on the event roster this weekend and all contributed in a big way.

The Shore did get off to a rough start putting up a 179.43 average through the first quarter of the events matches and standing in sixth place.

But, by midday, they had adjusted and it showed in their scores as they improved to 199.00 over the next 16 games to raise their halfway-point average to 189.21. At the end of Day 1, the Hawks were in second place and 264 total pins behind Webber.



The first set of 16 was brutal, we made bad shots, didn't make spares, didn't strike much, had wrong surfaces on our equipment and we played the entirely wrong part of the lane, Bandy said. At the hour lunch break, we altered the equipment surfaces and put together a new game plan of how to attack the lane. As indicative of our scores, the rest was a success.

The second-place Hawks average took a tiny dip in games 33-48 after they put up a 188.93 to bring their overall average to 189.12, but Webber had pushed the lead to 406 pins.

The Shore finished up at 191.86 after posting a 200.06 average over the final 16 games and they trailed Webber (which averaged 197.60 in the event) by just 368 pins at the end.

By the end of the second day of the competition, we were putting together several Baker sets that were clean of any opens and we continued to climb to the top of the score board. We couldn't catch Webber, but if we had thrown the ball better Saturday morning, we no doubt would have won the event. All in all, our goal was to be in the Top 4 we did that. We are going to Nationals baby! But the chase is not over as we have Music City this weekend.

A good finish at the Music City Invitational and the MEAC Tournament the following weekend will help the squad secure its primary goal of a trip to the NCAA Championships.

Junior Melanie Copey (Ontario, New York) led the Shore in individual Baker average with a 207.2, while marking at 91.5 percent, striking at 45.1 percent, picking up 88.4 percent of her spares and knocking down single pins 95.5 percent of the time.

Classmate Jalesa Johnson (Delmar, Delaware) averaged a 198.6 over 111 frames, marked at 86.6 percent, made a strike 44.6 percent of the time and converted 75.8 percent of her spares.

Graduate student Thashaina Seraus (Oranjestad, Aruba) was next at 197.5 and bowled the most frames (128), while striking 44.9 percent of the time and converting 94.9 percent of her single-pin spares.

Sophomore Jacqueline Rhoda (Portage, Indiana) averaged a 187.3 over 127 frames and converted single-pin spares 97.3 percent of the time.

Jackie also had a superb performance on Friday, Bandy said. She competed in the singles portion of the event and earned herself a bid to the individual portion of the National Championship that takes place the day before the USBC Team Championships. She found her line and was relentless, securing herself a Top 5 finish.

Rhoda, averaged a 205.3 over six traditional games as a warm-up to her team competition over the weekend to earn a spot in the 24-person national womens field April 18-19 and 22.

Freshman Cayla Hicks (Richmond, Virginia) averaged a 190.1, marked at 85.0 percent, struck 42.5 percent of the time, converted 73.9 percent of her spares and 91.3 percent of single pins over 78 frames.

Sophomore Danielle August (Mililani, Hawaii) bowled 54 frames at a 188.3 average and converted 76.5 percent of her spares.

Sophomore Alexandra Hernandez (Maracaibo, Venezuela) averaged a 180.5 over 58 frames.

The Hawks (68-34, 19-5 MEAC) marked at a 75.4 percent rate for the event, got a strike 39.6 percent of the time, converted 69.4 percent of their spares and 90.76 percent of single-pin spares.

The Hawks next challenge comes this weekend at The Music City Classic (March 17-19), They will follow that up with the MEAC Championships (March 24-26) and then hope to be heading to the NCAA Championships (April 13-15) before a date already secured at the USBC Championships (April 20-22).

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