LAUREL, Md. -- The North Carolina A&T women's bowling team finished in second place at the Frederick Underwood Lady Bulldogs Classic on Sunday afternoon at the AMF Laurel Lanes, after falling to the fourth-ranked team in the nation.
The Aggies were swept 4-0 by Sam Houston State, ranked No. 4 in the nation by the National Tenpin Coaches Association, in the tournament championship round. Sam Houston State won the fourth game 194-191 to win the tournament.
The Aggies (26-15, 10-6 MEAC) finished the Classic with a 10-3 record and with their highest bracket tournament finish this season.
"Finishing the tournament 10-3 is a great way to start the semester," said A&T head coach James Williams. "Today the team bowled well. They pretty much did their jobs in the first match. We battled Bethune to a tough series and survived, only to lose to the fourth best team in the country. My ladies have nothing to hold their heads down about. We set out on a mission today and they accomplished 98 percent of it. We fell short."
The Aggies blanked the University of Alabama-Birmingham 4-0 to start bracket play. A&T then advanced to face No. 19 Bethune-Cookman. The Aggies handed the Wildcats a 4-3 defeat to advance to the championship round. It was the third time this season the Aggies have defeated the Wildcats.
"They didn't bowl their best in the first two days, but when we needed their best, they definitely showed up to bowl," Williams said.
The Wildcats took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven match, defeating the Aggies 195-179 in the fifth game. The Aggies won the sixth game by one pin at 211-210 to force game seven. In the final match, B-CU's Stacy Hillard fouled on her last shot, which helped give the Aggies the 164-155 win. Williams said that if she had not fouled, the match would have been tied, and would have forced the two teams to compete in a tie breaker game.
Williams is hopeful that the team's performance this weekend will help them to succeed as they compete for the MEAC Southern Division regular-season title and the MEAC Tournament Championship crown this spring. The Aggies are three games behind first-place Norfolk State in the Division.
"I taking this as a sign of positive things to come, and the experience I'm personally taking from this is tremendous," he said. "And I'm sure the team learned a lot as well."
The Aggies will return to action in the Capital Classic, hosted by Delaware State, from Feb. 8-10 in Dover, Del.