GREENSBORO-In their last tournament of the calendar year, the North Carolina A&T bowling team will be taking on MEAC divisional opponents in the MEAC Southern Division #2 tournament in Orangeburg, S.C. this weekend.
The Aggies (12-35, 2-8) will be looking to improve upon their 2-8 finish in the MEAC Southern Division #1 Tournament, which they hosted from Nov. 12-13. The Aggies will be taking on division foes Norfolk State, N.C. Central, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and S.C. State in the tournament.
"I'm looking forward to see how the ladies respond after their not so good finish at the first Divisional match," said head coach James Williams. "My expectation is to have a better record than we did in the first divisional."
N.C. A&T is last in the Southern Division, while Bethune-Cookman sits in first place with a 7-3 record. Norfolk State and N.C. Central are tied at 6-4, while S.C. State is 5-5. Florida A&M holds a 4-6 record. The Aggies rank sixth in the MEAC with a 846.4 average in conference-only play.
The Aggies have a great opportunity this weekend to gain some ground in the Division rankings, and to claim either the third or fourth spot in the Division to qualify for the MEAC Championships in March. The team will take on Southern Division opponents just once more after this weekend.
"Wins are a hard to come by within the Southern Division," Williams said, following the MEAC Southern Division #1 tournament. "The good thing is that no one team is dominating the South."
The key to success this weekend at the MEAC Southern Division #2 meet, Williams said, is better accuracy. That's something the team has been working on in practice in the last couple of weeks, as well as working on generating more power and drive from the bowling ball. Those were issues that the team faced at the Hawk Classic.
"We needed to be more accurate with the first ball," Williams said. "We needed more revolutions, power, and drive from our first ball. We need to not leave as many splits and multi-pin attempts."
The team has been steadily improving upon their single pin spare percentage this season, which means that the team has been throwing better first shots and getting better opportunities to score more points. However, Williams has noted that the team has had trouble with their multiple pin conversion rate in their last two tournaments. Williams also added that they had too many splits at the Hawk Classic, which is something the team will work to eliminate from their game in Orangeburg, S.C. this weekend.
The Aggies will take a long break following this weekend, as their next tournament is not until Jan. 20-22. Williams hopes his student-athletes will take some time during the holidays to hone their skills.
"Hopefully they will take it upon themselves to practice and work on the things that we have been doing in practice," he said.