DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- The North Carolina A&T bowling team showed improvement at the MEAC Southern Division #3 Tournament over the weekend, but it was not enough to make it eligible for the MEAC Championship Tournament to be held at Greensboro's Gate City Lanes March 16-18.
The Aggies finished the weekend with a 4-6 record to end the season with a 7-23 MEAC record. The Aggies end the regular season in last place in the Southern Division, missing the cut for the MEAC tournament. The Aggies finished the 2011-12 season with a 25-66 overall record. While they went 1-4 on Saturday, the Aggies ended the season on a high-note with a 3-2 performance in bakers play on Sunday.
The Aggies defeated the Eagles 830-802 in the opening match on Saturday. They fell to Florida A&M 771-748, and to Bethune-Cookman 906-875 final. The Aggies lost to Norfolk State 961-763 before losing to S.C. State by 790-789.
"The match against NSU was close, until we couldn't finish what we started," said Aggies coach James Williams. "And the last match against SCSU was a test of grit. The ladies were down a little over 100 pins with three frames left. They battled back and two untimely splits in the 10th frame caused us to lose by one."
Williams added that the team struggled against a particular oil pattern on Saturday, having the same troubles they have faced all season with the pattern.
In head-to-head matches on Saturday, sophomore Cherise Poole led the team with a total pinfall of 903, for an average of 180.60. She ranked seventh among all bowlers for her average. She bowled a 197 in the match against B-CU. Jenae McCaskey was the only other Aggie player to bowl in the 190s, posting a 192 against B-CU. Senior April Terry was second on the team with a total pinfall of 839.
On Sunday, the Aggies went 3-2. The Rattlers defeated the Aggies 613-602 to start the day. The Aggies then defeated the Eagles 727-676 final. The Aggies fell to the Spartans 732-620. The Aggies won their next two games, defeating Bethune-Cookman 724-716 and S.C. State 639-609. The Aggies were the only team to defeat B-CU in bakers play on Sunday.
Poole ends the season with the highest average on the team at 172.8. She also had the highest individual performance on the team this season, bowling a 235 at the MEAC Southern Division #1 Invitational on Nov. 12.
Now, the Aggies will turn their focus to being the host school for the MEAC Tournament.
"It's always important when you can host your conference championship," Williams said. "It's great for the institution and the city as well as the establishment. The establishment, Gate City Lanes, in my opinion is the best facility in the conference. The staff is so supportive and willing to make the things that are needed to happen, happen. The tournament has been in Greensboro the past four years, and the conference office loves having the tournament here."