HAWKS EARN 5th SEED AFTER DAY ONE OF NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
April 12, 2012
WICKLIFFE, Ohio - After a brutal opening day to the 2012 NCAA Women's Bowling Championships, the nation's best eight teams went home to catch their breath, not completely sure what they had accomplished all day. One thing was known however, whether it matters or not, the eight teams are now seeded and will begin double elimination play Friday morning.
The Lady Hawks from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) are seeded fifth with a 3-4 record. They will face fourth-seeded Sacred Heart to open play. The Pioneers topped the Hawks 904-903 earlier in the day.
"At times we played like we were ready to win another National Championship," said Assistant Coach Doug Dukes. "Other times we looked like we could be the first ones out. We have to be better tomorrow."
Traditionally the seeding doesn't matter at all. UMES was seeded seventh when they won their first title in 2008 and third when they won last year. The Hawks were fifth in 2007 when they were the runner-up to the title.
"The seeding dosen't worry me at all," said head coach Kristina Frahm. "I have seen one seeds go down early, seven seeds win. We just have to be consistent in our bowling. We used today to get right for tomorrow."
The Hawks were paced by MEAC Player of the Year T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.). Falbo bowled all seven games, finishing 17th overall with a pinfall of 1359 and average just over a 194. Right behind her was MEAC Rookie of the Year Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) who was just seven pins behind her to average just over a 193. Alvarado had the high game for the Hawks with a 247.
Paula Vilas (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), the lone senior for the Hawks was 20th overall while Anggie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia) and Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) were 24th and 25th respectively.
The Hawks opened with a loss to Nebraska, 880-1173, but quickly rebounded to top Central Missouri 1060-918. They would then top Arkansas State 1003-962 before finishing the morning block with the one pin loss to Sacred Heart.
In the afternoon, UMES took advantage of the newcomer in Valparaiso with a 1014-987 win before dropping the final two matches 936-1013 to Vanderbilt and 753-935 to Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Hawks open the morning against Sacred Heart at 9:50 a.m. and will await the Vanderbilt/Valparaiso outcome and play one or the other at 11:20 a.m. Two wins and UMES gets a bye to the 5:20 p.m. match. One loss means they bowl at 3:40 p.m. Two losses will end the Hawks hopes of back-to-back titles.
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Vanderbilt will take the top seed into Friday's Baker style matches after compiling a 5-2 record Thursday.
Nebraska gets the second seed for Friday's matches. The Huskers were perfect in the morning block, going 4-0 with nearly a 208 per player average, but lost all three of its matches in the afternoon session.
Fairleigh Dickinson is third, also at 4-3 with Sacred Heart in fourth with 4-3 and defending champ UMES is fifth after going 3-4. Tie breakers are determined first by head-to-head record and then by total pinfall for the day.
The comeback story of the day is top-ranked Arkansas State, which went winless in Thursday morning's block, but won all three of its matches in the afternoon to earn the No. 6 seed.
Central Missouri is seventh, also at 3-4 and newcomer Valparaiso is the eight seed at 2-5.
All teams and coaches seemed to agree on one thing -- as demanding as Thursday was, Friday will be even more so. Teams will compete in what's called a Baker style. Simply put, rather than each bowler rolling a complete game, in Baker style a team combines for one game. The leadoff bowler for each team will bowl the first and sixth frames, the second bowler bowls the second and seventh and so on. Matches are best four out of seven. If you lose twice, you go home.
The lane conditions the competitors are facing this weekend in Cleveland are challenging to say the least.
The pattern is 41 feet long (the lane is 60 feet) and has a 3.5:1 ratio of oil from its heaviest point in the middle of the lane to its lightest point near both gutters. A typical "house" or "league" pattern is usually 32-35 feet long with a 10:1 ratio of oil.
The difference is stark. Players have a much smaller margin of error since there is not as much "hold" created by a heavier concentration of oil in the center of the lane. The added length also means the ball likely will not hook as much. As the players continue bowling, the oil will be moved down the lane even further and, depending on the bowlers on each lane, the oil will also move from left to right with each bowled ball. The players that will succeed will be those who are able to make quick adjustments and stay on top of the transitions.