GREENSBORO-Exhibitions are a helpful way for athletes and
coaches to gauge their state of readiness for competition. For the North Carolina A&T bowling team,
this year's exhibition was also a fun way to not only see how they look for
this season, but how they stack up to the legends of the bowling program.
On Saturday afternoon at Spare Time Lanes, the North
Carolina A&T bowling team hosted its first ever Lady Aggie Alumni
Challenge, pitting their five current players against five letterwinners,
including some athletes who helped bring the 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 MEAC
Championship titles home to Greensboro.
The A&T letterwinners were represented by April Terry
(Class of 2012), Amanda Stone (Class of 2005), Michelle Hanna (Class of 2005),
Danielle Hanna (Class of 2007), and Courtney Stith (Class of 2003).
The alumni won 12 of the 15 individual games and bested the
Aggies in bakers play 4-2. The alumni
gave his Aggies a taste of the level of competition they'll face in their
upcoming tournament in Tulane
"They're a championship-caliber team," said A&T head
coach James Williams of the alumni group, adding that he was proud of the
performance of his team. "Like we were
saying to the girls afterwards, they bowled against a national title contender
And the Aggies appreciated the level of talent and skill
displayed by the alumni. Both junior
Cherise Poole and freshman Emily Strombeck said that they had not expected the
alumni to be as competitive as they were on Saturday.
"I expected their skill level to be lower than that," Poole
said. "They came out the box hard." To
which Strombeck added: "But that's what we need. We need competition that way so that we can
be prepared for that when we go to our tournaments."
For the alumni, who know firsthand what it takes to earn a
MEAC Championship, Saturday was a great opportunity for them to give back to
the program and help share their winning experience.
"They've got a lot of potential. They've just got to stay motivated and
hungry, and don't let the hits knock them out.
They've just got to stay strong," Stith added.
In individual play, the alumni and undergraduates went
5-on-5 and played in three games apiece, rotating after each game. For the
undergraduates, Strombeck won a pair of games, defeating Stith 190-138, and
defeating Danielle Hanna 204-171. Poole picked up the other win for the Aggies,
defeating Stith 204-181.
The alumni and undergraduates then faced off for bakers
competition to decide the winner of the Challenge. The bakers competition was close, and many
cries of "Aggie Pride" rang out after strikes and key spares for both teams. After a back-and-forth found the two tied at
two wins apiece, the Alumni won the fifth game 185-184, aided by a strike from
Stone in the 10th frame.
Alumni followed that with a 217-171 victory in the sixth game to win bakers
play behind four straight strikes in the middle frames and a strong finish by
Stone. Williams said that the experience
will help his Aggies in the regular season.
"The bakers I was really expecting it to go seven, and it
went six," Williams said. "It showed
that they didn't quit. They missed a couple
pins at the end of Game 5 that turned the tables, but again, it's a learning
The Aggies will open up the 2012-13 season by competing in
the Tulane Collegiate Bowling Invitational in New Orleans from Oct. 19-21. The Aggies will take on six of the Top 20
schools ranked by the National Tenpin Coaches Association Preseason poll in the