BACK AGAIN; UMES IS BACK IN THE NCAA FINALS; TOP HUSKERS 4-1
April 13, 2012
WICKLIFFE, Ohio - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is back. Back Again. The Lady Hawks, who came in as somewhat of an underdog, planned on defending their 2011 title and will get a chance to do just that, topping Nebraska 4-1 in the semi-final round and securing a place in the championship final tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. live on ESPNU.
"I am really happy this team made it," said lone senior Paula Vilas (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). I am proud of all of us, of our team. We bowled as a team today and fought together to get to where we wanted to be. I told the team, we didn't need it, we wanted it, and to get it we fought for every pin on every shot. I am really happy that we played this way today."
The Hawks will await the winner of Vanderbilt and Fairleigh Dickinson. FDU, coming out of the winner's bracket, was upended 4-0 by Vandy, the team whose only loss was to the Hawks. The two will battle again at noon tomorrow for the right to face UMES.
After the win head coach Kristina Frahm was asked about who she would prefer to bowl in the finals. "It doesn't matter," she said. "We don't bowl the person on the lane next to us, we bowl ourselves. We had a little meeting this morning and what I told them was bowl to your potential. That's the reason you're here, that's the reason you made it. It's not because of the other teams, it's because you're good. They know they can compete with any team out there."
UMES did more than compete with Nebraska, getting going early against the Huskers, taking game one 221-182 and posting seven strikes, including a pair from Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico). In game two UMES was down, but Nebraska was worse. The Hawks posted just a 181 but cruised past Big Red who posted a 148. Luck was with the Hawks as the team recovered from Vilas leaving a `greek church' in the sixth and a combined six spares. Nebraska had three splits and just three strikes in the game.
In the third game UMES jumped out to a 3-0 lead, posting a 206-171 win, getting five strikes in the final five frames to sink the Huskers, whose troubles continued with a pair of splits.
The fourth game saw Nebraska edge the Hawks 178-172 as they started with three straight strikes. UMES couldn't recover from just one strike, an open in the first and the 7-10 split in the ninth.
No worries however, as game five went to UMES by the narrowest of margins, 227-226. It was back and forth all the way. Nebraska opened with five straight strikes before opening in the sixth. That was the break UMES needed. They threw four strikes of their own in the first five frames. They would close their frames the rest of the way, getting a strike from T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) in the tenth, followed by an eight on the second ball. The Hawk faithful knew she needed just one pin to clinch the win, and that is what she got, chopping the two pin for the one pin victory.
"I had to make it exciting," said Falbo. "It wasn't clean, but I got the one that mattered, and now we are on to the championship."
"I'm really proud of the girls," said Frahm. "They fought hard all day and we came back from our struggles yesterday. They stayed up beat and now we're going to relax the rest of the day and tomorrow and come in ready to roll tomorrow night."
"When the new poll came out we saw that we had dropped to eighth," concluded Falbo. "That added fuel to our fire. We wanted to show people that we are not an eighth place team and I think we did that today."
The Hawks are now trying to look like a first place team, setting their sights on a third National Championship, tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. live on ESPNU.