Hawks finish 6-2 at MEAC No. 2 meet in Pocomoke
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland - Maryland Eastern Shore bowling coach Kayla Bandy has been adamant that this year’s roster is deeper than any she’s had in her three seasons at the helm of the Hawks program.
Over the weekend during the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference North No. 2 meet, she got proof.
After going 3-1 on Saturday with a lineup of regular starters at Eastern Shore Lanes in Pocomoke, Bandy had an opportunity to put a completely different lineup on the lanes on Sunday.
Sophomore Lindie Esteban (Kapolei, Hawaii), sophomore Quianna Macares (Willemstad, Curacao), freshman Cayla Hicks (Richmond, Virginia), freshman Brigitte Jacobs (Freeport, Illinois) and junior Jalesa Johnson (Delmar, Delaware) all played all day on Sunday.
That group finished the day’s Baker matches 3-1 as well to give the team a 6-2 mark for the weekend.
“Impressed is an understatement,” Bandy said. “Those girls worked together well. They sacrificed for each other. They communicated about where they were moving. Could our spare game have been better? Absolutely, but that’s inexperience and every game that they bowl is more experience for them to carry forward.”
The Sunday group actually knocked down more pins (3,730) compared to a total of 3,705 on Saturday.
“I had an opportunity to play some players that don’t normally get their share of playing time,” Bandy said. “They responded. And Lindy was impressive. She put some shots together that a veteran player would put together. She stayed patient. She stayed calm and she took advantage of the situation and made a statement that she was a force to be reckoned with in our program. I was very impressed with how she stood out on Sunday.”
Hicks really stepped up in the anchor position this weekend and marked in 12 of the 13, 10th frames that she bowled. Johnson bowled well at the lead-off spot and in the back of the lineup toward the end of the day.
The team dropped both matches to Delaware State. The first, 1,029-928 on Saturday, and the second 976-946 during Baker competition on Sunday.
“We missed five single-pin spares against the Hornets on Sunday and you can’t miss single pins and expect to come out on top,” Bandy said. “We ended up losing by 30 pins, so there are the 30 pins we needed to win.”
“We were on a new lane surface for us this season,” Bandy said. “There are not very many wooden lanes left in the country and Eastern Shore Lanes has one of the most well-kept wooden lane surfaces out there. However it is wood, which generates quite a bit more friction than the average synthetic lane does.”
That meant the team had to be smart about their transition on wooden lanes and an NCAA pattern they hadn’t competed on yet this season.
“Our fill rate was impressive,” Bandy said. “That showed that during this past week’s practice they worked really hard on their spare game. Our strike percentage was probably lower than normal and I think we need to work on repeatability of our strike shot.”
Sunday’s lineup change was made after several of the regular starters were disciplined for a violation of team rules.
It was a throwback weekend for the Hawks as Eastern Shore Lanes was the location that hosted Maryland Eastern Shore’s MEAC events at the program’s inception.
“Tommy Fitzpatrick, the owner, supplied the equipment for the first team,” Bandy said. “He contributed to the start of our program. He was generous enough to host this event on short notice and it was a big success. We had lots of people there supporting us from the community and some of his league bowlers even came out to watch.”
The Hawks will be off until they travel to the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Jan. 13-15.
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