DOVER, DE —The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) went a perfect 3-0 and took their sixth event title of the season today defeating No. 5 Fairleigh Dickinson twice to earn the DSU Capital Classic Championship, held at the Brunswick Zone Doverama in the first state's capital city.
UMES, who has been second in their only other two events this season, dominated from start to finish, leading each day convincingly and earning the top seed heading into today's bracket finals.
They would face a relentless Fairleigh Dickinson squad in the first match of the day, a pairing of one vs. two. While it took seven games, the Hawks prevailed and earned a berth in the championship match.
Head Coach Kristina Frahm had sophomore Victoria Jones (Baltimore, Md.) lead-off the line-up after a solid outing yesterday in team games. Jones set the pace and was followed by Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.), Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico), Anngie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia) and anchored by T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.).
The lineup was solid but immediately got down early to the Knights, 2-0. FDU won the first two 236-223 and 279-188. UMES quickly rebounded to take game three 249-195 but FDU won game four 224-199. Up 3-1 it looked like UMES was going to have to fight to get back to the finals.
The Hawks however dug deep and won game five, 223- 219 and then game six 227-203 to tie the match at three all.
With all the momentum UMES went on to take game seven 264-170. The win gave UMES a bye into the finals and allowed them a match-up with the 11 vs. 12 seed match in the second round.
Coach Frahm wanted to rest her starters and gave Ramirez and Falbo the match off. So she thought. Cheyney brought their ‘A' game and tied UMES in the first game at 190.
After reinserting her All-Americans, Frahm had the Hawks rolling, putting up four straight wins 279-157, 204-186, 217-169 and 220-145. UMES took the 4.5-05 win for their 12th straight of the tournament.
After FDU topped third-seed New Jersey City to get back to the finals for a rematch with the Hawks, the two heavyweights would again slug it out. UMES opened up with a 203- 201 win and then posted a 201 themselves to FDU's 189 to go up 2-0.
FDU then tied the match at two all with a 232-195 and 189-166 pair of wins. The Hawks then rolled to a 227-222 and 237-187 pair of wins for the 4-2 victory. Buja shined for the Hawks, essentially rolling a 300, posting 12 consecutive strikes over her 12 frames, two per game. "We had a great tournament," said Frahm.
"The girls bowled well and we picked up some wins. We were tested, especially today and I think things went about as well as they could." FDU took runner-up honors while Adelphi, NJCU, St. Francis (N.Y.), host Delaware State and North Carolina A&T rounded out the top seven.
North Carolina Central, Morgan State, Hampton, Howard and Cheyney finished out the field. The Hawks were presented the trophy and Alvarado and Ramirez received their All- Tournament Team awards to close out the day. UMES stays close to home next weekend, heading to Perry Hall, Md. for the Morgan State Invitational, Feb. 15-17.