CHESAPEAKE, Va.- The North Carolina A&T bowling team finished second in the second MEAC Southern Divisional Tournament at the AMF Lanes with five total wins on the weekend. Junior Cherise Poole, who averaged 202 for the weekend, was named to the all-tournament team.
The Aggies (16-12, 10-6 MEAC) went 2-2 in bakers play on Sunday, in the tournament hosted by defending MEAC Champion Norfolk State. The Aggies posted a 2,990 total pinfall on Sunday, the second-highest total on the day, and stand in second place in the MEAC Southern Division behind 13-3 Norfolk State.
"The weekend overall was good," said A&T head coach James Williams. "Five-and-three is identical to the last meet, but it keeps us in second place in the South. Plus it keeps us in a really good spot to make championships this year, as long as there are no bumps in the road."
A&T started off the day with a 774-736 win over N.C. Central. The Aggies then continued the day with a narrow 736-732 loss to Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats had a 550-548 lead over the Aggies going into the fourth bakers game. Bethune-Cookman out-dueled the Aggies 186-184 in the final game to secure the victory.
The Aggies bounced back from that loss with a huge win over Norfolk State, 802-734, after bowling a 241 and a 201 in the second and third games to pull away from the Spartans. The day closed with a 746-682 loss to Florida A&M.
"I was somewhat disappointed. The girls relaxed after the win over Norfolk State. They really let their guard down and thought they would just cruise over FAMU, which didn't happen," Williams said. "Though I was impressed with their performance against Norfolk State, the next match really put things into perspective. I have a young team. Though there are two members returning from last year's team, they have never experienced this type of success during their careers here. And the underclassmen are just young. There needs to be a lot more growing up to before the last division meet in March."
The Aggies will take the rest of December off for finals and winter break. They will return to the lanes for the Bowie State/Frederick Underwood Bowling Classic at Bowie, Md. from Jan. 18-20.
The Aggies, who have won four MEAC Championship titles, are looking to advance to the MEAC Tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season. To do so, A&T must place fourth or higher in the Southern Division. The Aggies have one more MEAC Southern Division Tournament left, which will be played in March 2-3.
"The bottom line is that we just need to handle business," Williams said.