Tatiana Munoz posted a 244 in the bye, the highest Hawk pinfall of the day.
Tatiana Munoz posted a 244 in the bye, the highest Hawk pinfall of the day.

Feb. 20, 2012

TOWSON, Md. - After the hot start the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) women's bowling team got off to in the second half of the season, no one can really be upset with them if they are a little off one weekend. That happened this past weekend when the Lady Hawks struggled to tally high pinfalls at the Morgan State Invitational. While UMES didn't put up the numbers they were used to, they still managed to win, posting a 9-2 record at the event and advancing to 80-28 on the season. They would finish the tournament in sixth place.

The Hawks opened the first day of the 23 team tournament in ninth place. The pinfall totals were obvious as the Hawks went a perfect 5-0 to start the day. In four game Baker matches the Hawks rattled off wins against Cheyney (744-696), No. 13 Delaware State (802-710), North Carolina Central (791-584), Virginia State (698-605) and Florida A&M (733-677). Despite the unblemished mark, UMES sat in ninth overall.

Day two brought new life to the Hawks. Team games, something UMES has excelled at all season, saw them rattle off a 3-1 record and a solid pinfall in a bye to move up two spots to seventh heading into the final day of competition.

They did that by defeating host Morgan State (962-846), Bethune-Cookman (976-754) and No. 7 Vanderbilt (1018-869). They dropped their first match of the tournament to No. 6 Central Missouri (1011-1060), despite bowling over 1,000. They were paced by T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) who tallied a 1051 over five game to average a 210.2 and finish 12th overall. She rolled four of her five games over 200 with a 235 in the bye and a 216 in the CMSU loss.

Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) was also solid, posting a pinfall of 1008 and averaging a 201.6. she posted a 215 and 208 in the Morgan State and Bethune-Cookman wins respectively. All eight Hawks in uniform saw action in the team games with freshman Valerie Riggin (Vista, Calif.) seeing her first action in non-Baker play. She didn't disappoint, rolling a 202, 188, 213 and 222, the latter coming in the Vanderbilt win. She averaged a 206.25 over those four games. Tatiana Munoz (Ibague Tolima, Colombia) also saw action, posting 244 in the bye, the highest Hawk pinfall of the day.



Heading into the final day of competition, interim head coach Kristina Frahm knew her Hawks could finish no better than fifth but they came out with fire and put away the sixth seed, Delaware State 4-2 in the best-four-of-seven Baker format. Next up was a match up with No. 12 New Jersey City. UMES had not lost to the Gothic Knights all season but this one wasn't to be as NJCU prevailed 4-1 to take fifth and send the Hawks to a sixth place finish. The match was back and forth. The Knights won by just six pins 177-171 in game one and by just three pins in game three, 192-189. UMES won game four easily but game five was another nail biter, with the Gothic Knights escaping by three pins, 177-174. Twelve more pins and UMES could have won the match.

"This was a good weekend for us," said Frahm. "We would have liked to finish higher, but we still pulled out a good record and got to bowl our whole team. Heading into the post-season with the MEAC Championship right around the corner and hopefully NCAA and USBC Championships, we needed to know what we have. We got to see that this weekend without sacrificing wins."

UMES will take Homecoming weekend off and return to action the following weekend in Dover, Del. for the final Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Northern Division meet.