TOWSON, Md.- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's bowling team clinched its sixth Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Northern Division title this weekend.
UMES posted a 9-1 mark on the weekend to finish their conference regular season at 28-2. With it, they will enter the MEAC Championship field as the No. 1 overall team in Chesapeake, Va. March 21-23, bowling for their seventh conference title. UMES technically clinched the title on Saturday, March 1 when they went 5-0 in team games. Senior Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) dominated for the Hawks, tossing five games for an average of 219.2. She tallied a 1096 pinfall and a high game of a 237 in the Coppin State win; all five of her games were over 200.
Not far behind was junior Victoria Jones (Baltimore). Jones knocked down 1,085 pins for five games, including a 257 in the win against Delaware State. That was the highest game rolled by a Hawk on the day and matched Jones career-high game. Jones tallied four 200-plus games on the day. Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) was also solid, tallying a 799 pin fall over four games. She tossed a 215 in the win over Morgan State and a 209 in the Coppin State win. All three Hawk freshmen rolled just one game each, all coming in the Hampton win. Justyne Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) posted a solid 246. Juliana Franco (Pereira, Colombia) tallied a career-high 224 and Sara Pelayo (Distrito Federal, Mexico) tossed a 201.
Other 200 games came from Tatiana Munoz (Ibague Tolima, Colombia) had a 222 in the Coppin State win while Valerie Riggin (Vista, Calif.) had the same score in the Delaware State match and added a 202 in the Morgan State win. Day two came with some of the same trouble as day one. Bowling on an oil pattern different then what was supposed to be laid out, the Hawks adjusted, but a little late. They opened Baker-match play with Delaware State. They jumped out to a lead with a 219-202 win in game one but the Hornets basically evened the match after game two with a 227-211 defeat of the Hawks. Game three saw the Hawks again jump back on top with a 216-188 win. Up almost 30 pins UMES seemed in control but game four saw the Hawks struggle. Delaware State got the 177-146 win and took the match by two pins. UMES still could have won; needing a mark in the tenth Alvarado chopped the 2-4-5, leaving the door open. The Hornets needed to strike out to win and they did, upsetting the nations no. two team.
UMES adjusted to the basic oil pattern after that and started making progress. They topped Howard (746-638), host Coppin State (813-692), Morgan State (824-680) and Hampton (915-676). All eight Hawks saw action on both days in both the traditional team and Baker game matches. UMES will head to Smyrna, Tenn. next weekend, March 7-9, for the Music City Classic, an event they won last season, bowling in it for the first time.