The team with their first-place Music City Classic trophy.

March 17, 2013

SMYRNA, Tenn. - To say it has been a dominant season for the Hawks bowling team would be an understatement. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) won its ninth tournament in 12 tries today, taking the 2013 Columbia 300 Music City Classic at the Smyrna Bowling Center. The other three events this season they finished second.

"That is quite an accomplishment," said head coach Kristina Frahm. "We have bowled really well this season."

UMES, the event's top seed, faced off on the final day against the second-seeded and host Vanderbilt. The Commodores, in their Irish Green uniforms didn't draw on the St. Patrick's Day luck quite enough as the Hawks jumped out to a win and second-round bye and finished with a 4-3 victory. Each team won on the right lane, every time. Luckily, the Hawks started there in game seven.

Vandy won game one 226-199 but when UMES got on the right lane they won 213-186, taking advantage of Vandy opens in the sixth and seventh frame. As the two bowling heavyweights slugged it out, Vandy put up an impressive 247-231 win in game three. Vandy put up six strikes in a row and an Anggie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia) spare in the ninth snapped a string of four strikes for UMES to account for some impressive scores.

Game four saw lower scores and the Hawks tying the match at two apiece with a 202-196 win. This was a pivotal game as the anchors determined the outcome. Vandy could have claimed the win with a first-ball strike in the tenth, but spared and UMES took advantage. T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) is arguably the most clutch anchor in the game and the senior rolled two strikes in a row to seal the win.

The final three games also produced lower scores with Vandy taking game five 192-176. Vandy led most of the game, but Falbo couldn't strike out which may have won the game. The Hawks won again in game six, pulling away after the Commodores opened in the fourth and seventh, 205-169. Luckily, as the top seed, the Hawks got lane choice in game seven and convincingly rolled past Vanderbilt 252-174. They opened with a turkey and kept rolling from there while Vandy opened in the second and third. The match was decided each game, but UMES dominated in pin count, 1478-1390.



While everyone else bowled immediately after, the Hawks earned a bye with the 29-field team dictating that somebody earn a match off. While the pair of National Champions slugged it out, the three vs. four match-up pitted former National Champion Nebraska against Arkansas State. The Red Wolves topped the nation's No. 1 team 4-2, with two games in the match being decided by one pin. That set up ASU and Vandy for a right to get back to the championship match.

The Red Wolves won the final two games to earn the win 4-2 and the right to face UMES.

In that final match the Hawks dominated, much like they did in the championship match of the Morgan State Invitational when they beat ASU for that title. UMES lost the opening game of the match 225-181 but that was it. They turned around and rolled four straight games over 200, (235-225, 215-214, 203-183, 211-168) with the closest being game three, to take home the traditional first place trophy of a crystal pin. UMES again won the pin totals, 1045-1015.

The line-up for both matches consisted of Valentina Collazos (Cali, Colombia), Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.), Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico), Ramirez and Falbo. Kristie Lopez (Ponce, Puerto, Rico) also threw in the match as a substitute.

"I am so proud of these young ladies," said Frahm. "These girls work hard and fight hard. I couldn't ask for a better group of ladies," she added.

Arkansas State, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Central Missouri, Faireligh Dickinson, Sam Houston State, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Stephen F. Austin, and Adelphi rounded out the top ten teams. New Jersey City, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis (PA.), St. Francis-Brooklyn, Alabama State, Valparaiso, Monmouth, Alabama A&M, Delaware State and UAB rounded out the top 20.

UMES now begins the post-season part of their schedule where they will bowl for three championships. Up first is the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship in Chesapeake, Va., March 22-24.

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