EAST GREENSBORO – If the opening weekend for the North Carolina A&T bowling team wasn’t tough with five teams in the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) top-10, then this weekend’s TRACK Kat Klash should do the trick.
The Aggies continue the season with a trip to Houston, Texas where there will be six teams in the top-10, starting Friday, Nov. 1 and concluding, Sunday, Nov. 3.
Every team in the NTCA top-6 will be in Houston except for No. 1 Vanderbilt. McKendree is the highest-ranked team at No. 2. Third-ranked Stephen F. Austin, the defending NCAA champions, returns as an opponent for the Aggies.
Rounding out the top-5 is Nebraska at No. 4 and host Sam Houston State, which won the Tulane tournament. Arkansas State at No. 6 and the Aggies at No. 8 are the other two teams ranked in the top-10.
Four other teams are ranked in the top-25 with No. 14 Tulane and No. 17 Louisiana Tech. Both teams competed in the opening weekend with the Aggies at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Bowling Invitational. Duquesne is ranked No. 20, Youngstown State is No. 23 and Prairie View A&M received votes.
The Aggies start the tournament with four ranked teams Friday in the baker format with Arkansas State, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Alabama State and McKendree.
Saturday doesn’t get easier for the Aggies as they face four more ranked teams of Sam Houston State, Nebraska, Youngstown State and Stephen F. Austin as well as facing Prairie View A&M. The final day of the tournament is Sunday with bracket play.
At the Allstate Sugar Bowl Invitational two weeks ago, the Aggies finished in fifth place. North Carolina A&T started the tournament going 5-0 on the day including a win over SFA.
The Aggies went 3-2 on the day with losses to No. 19 UAB and No. 13 Lincoln Memorial, but defeated Tulane and finished the tournament 3-0 on the final day that included wins over SFA and rematch wins over Lincoln Memorial and UAB.
Sophomore Ericka Quesada leads the team with an average of 193.67 pins in three games for a total of 581 pins, while junior Ana Olaya leads the team with 966 total pins for an average of 193.20 and junior Cameron Strombeck is second on the team with 961 total pins for an average of 192.20.
N.C. A&T travels north the following weekend for the first MEAC meet of the season in Glen Burnie, Md., from Nov. 8-10 and then returns to Greensboro for the First Annual Vernell Stallings Aggie Invitational the following weekend from Nov. 15-17.