ORMOND BEACH, Fla.-The North Carolina A&T bowling team capped off a packed weekend at the Wildcat Invitational with a 1-1 record in baker play on Sunday, defeating Salem International University in four straight games, and losing a heartbreaking, close match with the University of Alabama at Birmingham by 4-3, despite getting more total pinfalls than UAB.
"Overall the weekend was about learning to keep our energy level up," said Head Coach James Williams. "The team is continues to learn how to compete at higher level. Spare shooting from a percentage was higher for the weekend. We actually shot almost double the amount of single pins this week than last week, which is great. It means the team is throwing better quality shots and giving us better opportunities to score."
Competing in the two matches on Sunday for the Aggies (10-16) were sophomore Shameka Williams, senior Jenae McCaskey, sophomore Cherise Poole, junior Amber Brown and senior April Terry.
Against Salem International, the Aggies bowled more than 135 in each of their four games, including a match-high 172 in Game 4.
N.C. A&T was closely matched to UAB, tying them in two matches, and pulling to a 2-2 tie forcing a Game 7, after winning Game 5 by 222-159 and taking Game 6, 198-146. They lost the seventh game 136-113. The Aggies were a routine spare away from winning Game 2, a spare that would have won the game and perhaps the match. Despite the close loss, Williams said he was proud of the ladies for not giving up.
"After a tie in the first game, a loss in the second game, a tie in the third game and losing the fourth game to be down 3 games to 1, they found the energy we had been talking about all weekend to win the fifth game and the sixth game," said Williams. "In the seventh game, four splits and three additional opens cost us the game and the match."
N.C. A&T finished the match with 1,187 total pinfall compared to UAB's 1,109.
"We just have to learn how to grind out the game, and find a way to give ourselves opportunities to score," Williams said. "And that takes time especially for a young team."
The Aggies went 2-4 in individual play on Saturday, and 2-4 in bakers play on Friday at the Invitational. For the Aggies, Terry had a great day on Saturday, bowling a season-best 227, in a victory against Salem International University.
The Aggies will next compete Nov. 11-12, hosting the MEAC Southern Division #1 Invitational in Greensboro.