NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Scholarship is one of the core values of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Department of Athletics, and no team exemplifies that more than women’s bowling. Recently, the National Tenpins Coaches Association named the program one of its top academic programs as well, honoring 21 teams who posted a combined 3.2 grade point average for the 2014-15 academic year.
The award has been given for the four straight seasons, and the Hawks have made the list each year.
UMES however, was in the top tier of the grouping, carrying a combined 3.51 team GPA, placing it as one of seven to be above a 3.5. LIU-Brooklyn claimed this season’ crown, unseating UMES, last year’s winner, by posting a 3.79 team GPA.
The women’s bowling team at UMES is not only the most decorated athletically, but academically as well, having won the department’s Team of Scholars award 14 times in the last 15 years. The award is given to the team with the highest GPA among all 15 of the Hawks’ programs.
UMES graduated four players this season, including a pair with honors in MEAC Woman of the Year Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) and Tatiana Munoz, (Ibague Tolima, Colombia) an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Award winner.
“We graduated four wonderful young women,” said head coach Kayla Bandy. “They were all great bowlers and all great students. Our team works hard on the lanes and in the classroom each year, which is a staple of this program. It is something that we will continue to be proud of and something we will continue to see success in.”
In addition to individual academic honors, the NTCA awards one team the All-Scholars distinction and recognizes the other programs. The NTCA “wants to recognize outstanding academic achievement and is proud to salute [all] these teams,” they said in a statement.
Other teams nearing the top of the list included Felician, who were this year’s runner-ups, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Adelphi and Saint Francis College, all of which were above a 3.5. UMES was the only Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team and the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to make this year’s list.