HOUSTON, Texas – North Carolina A&T’s bowling team dropped a spot on the final day of the TRACK Kat Klash to finish the tournament in fifth place. The tournament featured five teams in the top-6 of the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) poll. Ten teams are in the poll’s top-25.
The Aggies started Sunday’s best-of-seven bracket play in fourth place. They fell to No. 6 Arkansas State 4-1 to open the day. The Red Wolves won the first game 184-156, but the Aggies tied the series after a 177-161 win in the second game. Arkansas State won the final three games with scores of 177-134, 225-209 and 199-175.
The Aggies faced tournament host Sam Houston State, the fifth seed and loss 4-3-1. The Aggies won the first game 178-168, but the Bearkats won the second 223-212 to tie the game at one and took a 2-1 lead after a 258-147 win. The Aggies tied it up at two after a 216-191 victory. The fifth game ended in a 157 tie. SHSU won the sixth game 256-197 to take a 3-2-1 lead.
But N.C. A&T tied the series after a 187-135 win in Game 7 forcing a tiebreaker game. SHSU won the final game 100-93 to advance.
The Aggies had face No. 3 Stephen F. Austin, a team that N.C. A&T has posted a 3-1 record against this season. N.C. A&T and SFA faced each other for the second time this season in bracket play. Like the first time they played, the Aggies won 4-3 win. SFA won the first two games with scores of 223-203 and 234-183 for the 2-0 lead.
The Aggies got on the board with a 191-160 and tied the game after a 218-213 win. N.C. A&T took the lead following a 195-181 win in the fifth game for a 3-2 lead. The Lumberjacks tied it at the series at 3 after a 204-184 victory. In the seventh game, N.C. A&T won 227-184 to finish in fifth.
Fourth-ranked Nebraska won the event followed by No. 2 McKendree, Arkansas State and Sam Houston State and the Aggies rounding out the top-5.
N.C. A&T started the day in fourth place thanks to a Saturday that saw N.C. A&T place three bowlers in the top-20 on the second day as they finished with 4,847 total pins.
The Aggies started Saturday with a 960-789 win over No. 23 Youngstown State and went 2-0 after a 917-875 win over Prairie View A&M. N.C. A&T fell to SFA 1,016-996 in the third game. They bounced back with a 1,018-911 win over SHSU.
N.C. A&T finished the day with a 987-956 loss to Nebraska. Junior Ana Olaya led N.C. A&T with 1,045 total pins to finish seventh with an average of 209. She started the day by scoring 171 in the first game and recorded more than 225 total pins in each of her next three games.
Olaya’s high score on Saturday was 235. She finished the day with a 184 in the fifth game. Junior Cameron Strombeck finished in 11thplace finish with 1,029 total pins, two pins shy of being a top-10 finisher. She had an average of 205.80 after posting a high score of 232 on Saturday. Her last three games were better than 200 as she scored 220, 228 and 202 respectively.
Senior Tyra Merritt was the last Aggie in the top-20 with a 16th-place finish. Merritt had 1,000 total pins for an average of 200.00. She had two games of more than 200 total pins including her best score of the day, a 222 in the fifth game.
Senior Mia Pope with 910 total pins for an average of 182.00 with her tip score being a 189. Sophomore Cristina Acosta finished with a total of 682 pins for an average of 170.50. Sophomore Pamela Warr bowled for Acosta in the fifth game and posted a 181.
The Aggies travel to Baltimore, Md., for the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) meet of the season, Nov. 8-10.