HAWK TALK - 11/23/09

Nov. 24, 2009

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - All of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore sports that are in season competed on the road this past week except for the bowling team. The men's basketball team traveled to Marquette and Missouri State, the women's basketball team played at Manhattan while the volleyball season came to an end with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament at Coppin State. The bowling team hosted their only tournament of the season with the Eastern Shore Hawk Classic.


This past week the men's basketball team embarked on an eight-day road trip that included a visit to Milwaukee, Wis. to play Marquette University and then Springfield, Mo. to participate in the Hispanic College Fund Challenge.

Redshirt sophomore Mark Robertson's (Lakewood, N.J.) hot-shooting from behind the arc was not enough to propel the Hawks over Marquette Tuesday at the Bradley Center as they lost by a score of 86-60.

Robertson hit four of his five 3-point shots in the first half and ended the game with 15 points, two blocks, two steals, one rebound and one assist.

Redshirt sophomore Hillary Haley (Oxon Hill, Md.) led UMES in scoring with 22 points. He also chipped in with two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 32 minutes of play.

Senior Neal Pitt (Fort Washington, Md.) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Hawks and added in four points of his own. Junior Kevin White (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led UMES with 11 assists.

Three-pointers were the theme of the night as both teams shot 43 in all. At the end of the first half, the Hawks hit 50% of theirs to only 37.5% for the Golden Eagles. UMES ended the game with a 41.2 3-point percentage and 40.4 shooting percentage.

Three Hawks scored in double digits, but it wasn't enough as UMES lost to host Missouri State, 70-53, in the Hispanic College Fund Challenge Friday at JQH Arena.

Haley and White led the Hawks in scoring with 11 points apiece while Robertson poured in 10 points of his own. White continued to shell out assists this season as he had six against the Bears.

Freshman James Cotton (Pocomoke, Md.) led UMES in rebounding with six while fellow freshman Sean Berry (Irvington, N.J.) had five.

Four Hawks were in foul trouble throughout the night as Cotton and Pitt fouled out within a minute and a half of each other at the 6:30 mark and 5:19 mark. Berry and Robertson each ended the contest with four fouls.

Despite a shakeup in the starting lineup Saturday, UMES fell to Eastern Michigan University, 76-51.

Prior to Saturday's matchup, head coach Frankie Allen and his staff decided to send a message to their players after a 0-3 start on the season.

Junior Josh Bright (Salisbury, Md.), Berry and Cotton made their first starts of the season while Robertson stayed in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game and White started his third.

Robertson and White led the Hawks in scoring with eight points apiece. White continued to dish out assists on the season with five against the Eagles.

Junior Freddy Obame Obame (Libreville, Gabon) and Haley each had six rebounds in the contest.

Seventeen points by Pitt were not enough for UMES to get by The Citadel on Sunday as they lost 88-62 in their final game of the HCFC to start the season 0-5.

In a breakout game for Pitt, he nearly doubled his point total of the season, which was 19 points entering the contest against the Bulldogs. He also grabbed five rebounds in the loss.

Cotton and White each had 10 points for the Hawks. Cotton also had three rebounds and one block shit while White contributed three assists, one rebound and one steal. Obame Obame brought down a game-high 10 rebounds and added in four points of his own.


Freshman Chelsea Sanders (Rochester, N.Y.) led all players with 22 points and grabbed six rebounds and senior April McBride (New Rochelle, N.Y.) picked up a double-double but the Lady Hawks fell, 88-58, to Manhattan at Draddy Gymnasium Sunday.

Sanders shot 7-of-18 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, and McBride added 11 points and 11 rebounds for UMES (0-2). Manhattan, which was 31-for-61 from the field (50.8 percent), improved to 2-1.

Junior Casey Morton (Mardela Springs, Md.) chipped in with seven points, five boards, two assists and a steal for the Lady Hawks. Classmate Latoya Buckner (Washington, D.C.) contributed six points and five rebounds.

UMES struggled shooting the ball for the second straight game to open the season, connecting on just 30.3 percent (20-of-66) of their attempts for the game.


The Lady Hawks, who are ranked fourth in the nation, took the bronze medal in the fifth annual Eastern Shore Hawk Classic.

Sophomore Paula Vilas (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) was named Tournament MVP. She had a dominating performance of 1015 pins and a 203 average on the Saturday, the second day of the event.

A good start and a great finish sandwiched a rough patch of bowing for the Lady Hawks on the opening day of the classic. UMES closed with their best game, a 1025, in the Baker format, and the third highest game of the day, to climb into fourth place overall, five pins from third place.

The 20-team tournament, which was actually 19, due to Coppin State's last minute withdrawal, saw UMES start solid, posting pin falls of 852 and 889 on pattern no. 5, the NCAA's toughest oil pattern. The solid scores resulted in a 1-1 mark however as no. 13 Adelphi picked up the upset win in the opening frame, posting a 904. UMES then topped no. 9 Sacred Heart as the Pioneers posted an 842. The Hawks then struggled severely, posting one game as low as a 118 in their match against no. 3 Fairleigh Dickinson resulting in a victory for the Knights, 904-733. In the 19-team field UMES sat in 12th place.

After a quick team meeting the Hawks rebounded to pick up wins over St. Peter's 976-775 and Bowie State, 1025-786. More importantly, the pinfall elevated them all the way to fourth place overall, five pins behind no. 8 New Jersey City and 274 pins behind no. 2 Vanderbilt, who was a perfect 5-0 on the day. FDU was also perfect with a 4-0 mark (they bowled one bye in the absence of Coppin State) and led after day one with a pinfall of 4841.

On Saturday, the Lady Hawks jumped to third place overall. The fourth-ranked UMES posted a 3-2 mark on the second day, which featured a team game format. They opened the day with a big win over rival no. 6 Delaware State University (DSU) 978-904. The momentum carried them to two more straight wins. They topped no. 7 Arkansas State (876-779) and no. 18 Saint Francis (NY) (917-849). The Hawks then faced new program, no. 20 Valparaiso and fell 955-920. Then the Commodores of no. 2 Vanderbilt bowled brilliantly to top UMES by 100 pins, 1030-930.

The star of the day however was the Lady Hawk's Vilas, who had the best day of anyone at the tournament. She posted a 1015 pin fall, the only one in the field to top 1,000. Her scores meant an average of 203, again the only one to average above the two centuries mark. Her 242 against Vanderbilt was the second highest score of the tournament. Two other bowlers rolled a 245.

Also on solid ground was junior Kristina Frahm (Oswego, Ill.). Last year's top Hawk averaged a 186.20 with a pin fall of 931. Junior Maria Rodriguez (Ibague Tolima, Colombia) was 21st overall, knocking down 926 pins and averaging a 185.20. Fellow junior Martha Perez (Bogota, Colombia) was 39th in the 130 plus field. She posted an 867 pin fall.

The 4621 pins in team games were second only to Vanderbilt's 4678. That coupled with their 4475 in Baker games combined to put UMES into third overall. They gained on no. 3 Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) as well, down just 212 pins from second place and 336 pins out of first.

On the final day of competition, the Lady Hawks posted a 2-1 mark. In the 20-team bracket format UMES opened up with the fourth seed, no.8 New Jersey City University. The Gothic Knights pushed UMES to seven games in the best 4-of-7 Baker format match. The Hawks were victorious however, taking the match 4-3. They posted games of 220, 223, 202 and 201 to win. Game seven saw them post a 201-176 win to take the match.

They next had to take on no. 3 Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) who lost to top seed Vanderbilt in the opening frame 4-2. The two National powers went back and forth with UMES taking games one and two before dropping three and four. The two teams tied in the fifth game with a 182. FDU took over from there, posting a 200-193 win in game six and a 178-167 win in the final game seven.

The final match of the day saw the Hawks face-off against no.20 Valparaiso. The upstart program topped UMES the previous day in their first ever meeting, but with third place on the line the Lady Hawks wouldn't go down without a fight. It again took seven games UMES used games three, four and five to take a 3-2 lead. Valpo won game six 192-190 but UMES turned it on in game seven to seal the win, 181-166. The Lady Hawks are now 36-10 on the young season after posting an overall mark of 8-5 on the weekend.


On the eve of the start of the 2009 MEAC Volleyball Tournament, the MEAC released its 2009 post-season volleyball honors.

UMES took two of the top three honors as head coach Don Metil earned his second Coach of the Year award while freshman setter Bella Jade Romero (Arlington, Texas) was named Rookie of the Year.

Metil earned his second nod in just three seasons at the helm of UMES Volleyball. He posted his third straight 10-0 record in conference play. UMES was 30-of-31 in MEAC games played this season. Metil also recorded his third straight 20-win season.

Romero made it two straight for the Hawks with the Rookie of the Year Award. She totaled 890 assists (10 per game) to help UMES hold their dominance in the conference's Northern Division. She posted 16 30-plus assist performances and recorded five double-doubles this season. Romero was second in the MEAC in assists per set. Despite these accolades and statistics, Romero was left off the All-Conference Team, voted on by the league's head coaches and Sports Information Directors.

Even though the Hawks posted great numbers this season, they received only one player on the First-Team. Senior Whitney Johnson (Prince Frederick, Md.) earned her third straight honor. The 2007 Conference Player of the Year tallied 279 kills and averaged 3.10 kills per game, hitting .327 on the year. Johnson led UMES in total points (333.5), kills and was third in attack percentage. In conference, she was third in hitting percentage, sixth in kills per game and sixth in points per game. Her hitting percentage also ranks in the top 100 players in the nation and she is 63rd in the country in aces per game.

Senior Caylin Woodward (Garden Grove, Calif.), arguably the best all-around player to ever wear maroon and grey, was a Second-Team selection. A Player of the Year candidate, Woodward led the team in digs per game (2.79), was second in assists per game (1.06) and hitting percentage (.304) and third in kills per game, blocks per game and points per game. She was fourth in the MEAC in hitting percentage (.304) overall and second in conference only matches at .404.

Last season's Rookie of the Year, Christine Edwards (Lakewood, Calif.) also earned Second Team honors. Edwards led UMES in kills per game (3.32), total kills (279) and points per game (3.93). She was second in service aces per game (.52) and second in total points (330.5). In the league, Edwards was third in kills per game and service aces per game and was fourth in points per game. Her aces per game also ranks tenth nationally.

Johnson recorded a match-high 11 kills leading the No. 1 seeded Lady Hawks to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-18) victory over fourth-seeded Norfolk State in the quarterfinals of the MEAC Championship at Coppin State Friday.

The win for UMES (23-6) was its 14th consecutive.

The Hawks limited the Spartans (9-22) to a -.080 hitting percentage on the day while hitting .382 themselves. UMES had 34 kills with just eight errors on 68 total attacks.

Woodward and Edwards each had six kills. Edwards also led the team with six digs and three of UMES' seven service aces.

Romero had a match-best 28 assists in the win.

Edwards registered 12 kills and redshirt junior Samantha Chukwura (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the way with an .800 hitting percentage as UMES dispatched Bethune-Cookman, 3-0 (25-10, 25-21, 25-20), in the semifinals of the MEAC Championship on Saturday.

It was the Lady Hawks' 15th consecutive win on the season.

UMES outhit BCU, .270-.043, holding its fourth straight opponent to under a .100 efficiency.

The Hawks tallied 41 kills and 14 errors while the Wildcats countered with 21 kills and 17 errors. UMES also outdug BCU, 44-33, and outserved them with 10 aces to just four.

Johnson had nine kills and Chukwura chipped in with eight. Woodward posted a match-best nine digs while Romero had match-bests of 38 assists, four aces and also had eight digs.

Edwards posted 21 kills and Johnson had 13 but the Lady Hawks fell in the MEAC Championship game to Florida A&M, 3-1 (17-25, 23-25, 25-20, 23-25), for the third consecutive season Sunday.

The loss for UMES snapped a 15 match winning streak and ended the Hawks' season at 24-7 while giving Florida A&M (17-8) its ninth consecutive MEAC title and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Woodward was one of three Hawks playing their final match for UMES, chipped in with nine kills and team highs of 15 digs and a .304 hitting percentage. She also had four block assists and to assists.

Romero tallied a double-double for the Hawks with 48 assists and 10 digs. Chukwura contributed eight kills, a match-best six block assists and three digs.


The men's basketball team returns home to host American University on Saturday with a 2 p.m. tipoff.

The women's basketball team continues their trip to New York with a matchup against Long Island University on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The bowling team travels to Lebanon, Ill. to compete in the National Collegiate Team Match Games on Friday and Saturday. Both days begin at 8 a.m.

The volleyball team has finished their season.



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