GREENSBORO-The North Carolina A&T bowling team finished the first day of the 2011 MEAC Southern Division #1 Invitational Tournament at Gate City Lanes with a 2-3 record after five games, defeating Florida A&M and Norfolk State, but falling to Bethune-Cookman, S.C. State and N.C. Central.
The Aggies (12-19, 2-3) are hosting the tournament, which is their only home match of the season. It was also their first time taking on tough MEAC division opponents this season. The MEAC is one of the best bowling conferences.
The Aggies defeated Florida A&M by a score of 841-824, and won the contest against Norfolk State 801-762. N.C. A&T lost to Bethune-Cookman 864-781, fell to S.C. State 875-732, and succumbed to N.C. Central 851-792. The Aggies totaled 3,947 total pinfalls, which was the fewest total pinfalls by a team on Saturday.
Norfolk State entered the tournament leading the MEAC South with a 10-3 record, so the Aggies' win over the Spartans was an important victory. The Aggies had several standout performances on Saturday.
Sophomore Cherise Poole bowled the best individual game of the first day of the tournament, with a 235 score in the win against Florida A&M. It was a new career-high for Poole, as her season-best score last year was 205 on Jan. 22 at the Lady Bulldogs Bowling Classic. The score also puts her eighth among the Top 20 scores in the MEAC this season. It is also the best game an Aggie has bowled this season.
Poole ended Saturday with a team-high average of 187, and a team-high 935 total pinfalls. Close behind her was senior April Terry, who averaged 184.2 and 921 total pinfalls. Terry bowled 212 against Florida A&M and 211 against Norfolk State. Terry was the only player to bowl above 200 twice for the Aggies on Saturday. Poole finished tied for fourth place at the tournament in total pinfalls, while Terry was sixth.
Sophomore Shameka Williams bowled 139 in the team's fifth game, her best game of the day. Jenae McCaskey's best game came in Game 2 against Bethune-Cookman, as she bowled 160, which was a new career-high for the senior. Junior Amber Brown bowled a 170 against N.C. Central, who was A&T's fifth and final opponent of the day.
The Aggies will compete in six games of baker competition on Sunday at Gate City Lanes to close the Invitational Tournament.