NEW ORLEANS-The North Carolina A&T bowling team put up a tough fight against National Tenpin Coaches Association ranked teams in bakers play to open the Tulane Collegiate Bowling Invitational. The Aggies finished action on Friday with a 1-4 record at AMF All Star Lanes and fifth place out of 11 teams with 3,394 total pins.

"I felt it was a good start to the season," said A&T head coach James Williams. "Regardless of what the record states, the young ladies did a really good job with managing the pocket today. We left a large number of makeable spares. But we did leave a few costly ones on the deck. They managed the pocket so well, that we are currently sitting in fifth place only behind four nationally-ranked opponents."

Those for teams were No. 2 Arkansas St, No. 8 Sam Houston, No. 10 Stephen F. Austin and No. 17 Prairie View. The Aggies (1-4) started their season against host Tulane University.  The Aggies won three of the four games, but lost the match 673-668, as Tulane totaled 219 in the third game.

The Aggies took on No. 8 Sam Houston State next, and won the first two games 164-150 and 171-167.  But A&T dropped the third game 192-152, after missing some key spares.  Down by 22 pins, the Aggies battled and lost the match 665-655.

Against No. 2 Arkansas State, the Aggies lost the match 781-664 after losing three of four games.   The Aggies defeated Jackson State in the fourth match 669-662.  A&T finished up action on Friday with a close loss to No. 10 Stephen F. Austin 768-738.   The Aggies led going into the final game by 21 pins, but left a couple of spares on the board. 

 "I'm very much proud of the effort today," Williams said. "I'm looking forward to more good bowling tomorrow as we move into the individuals. We are only 63 pins out of fourth place, which would be a great position to be in at the end of Day 2. All we have to do is continue to manage the pocket and make the spares."