Valerie Riggin led the pack in the Lady Hawks' season opener.

Nov. 13, 2012

MILLSBORO, Del. - The No. 1 ranked University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Hawks opened their NCAA title defense with a 9-1 mark in the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Northern Division match-up. The Hawks, hosting the other five division teams, tallied to a 5-0 mark in team games and dropped one close contest to Hampton in Baker games.

Short-handed, the Lady Hawks defended their home turf without All-American Anggie Ramirez and fellow Colombians Tatiana Munoz and Valentina Collazos who were in their home country for National competition.

That meant the Hawks would go without some strong bowlers and look to the bench. All six UMES players in uniform would see action and sophomore Valerie Riggin (Vista, Calif.) would lead the maroon and grey with a 206 average and 1,030 pinfall over five games. She would post a high of a 220 in the win over Coppin State.

The reigning MEAC Player of the Year and current Pre-season Player of the Year, T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) would also dominate, averaging a 200.2 over her five games and a 1,001 one total pinfall. The pleasant surprise came from freshman newcomer Kristie Lopez (Ponce, Puerto Rico), who averaged a 194.8 and tallied a 974 in her first collegiate action.

Marianna Alvarado (Leon, Mexico), Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) and Victoria Jones (Baltimore, Md.) all saw action as well with Alvarado posting a 216 in the Howard win.

On day one the Hawks rolled through the team games, defeating Hampton (910-850), No. 20 Delaware State (968-808), Coppin State (967-895), Howard (994-849) and Morgan State (959-689).



On day two, the Hawks struggled to find their lineup, but placed Lopez at the lead-off, a spot vacated b y the graduation of All-American Paula Vilas. It seemed to work, despite missing a few bowlers. They posted wins over Delaware State (679-612), Howard (759-641), Morgan State (844-582) and Coppin State (705-528) and dropped a game two loss to Hampton (690-722).

"It went pretty well," said head coach Kristina Frahm. "We have work to do and we missed our three players, but overall it was a good way to start the season."

The Hawks stay at home this weekend hosting the Eastern Shore Hawk Classic sponsored by Hammer Bowling. The event runs Friday, Nov. 16-18 at Millsboro Lanes in Millsboro, Del.

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