Maria Rodriguez was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Maria Rodriguez was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Nov. 4, 2008

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. - Being ranked no. 1 in the nation isn't easy, just ask Texas' football team. It seems everybody is gunning for you and when you meet up, they bring their A game. Although it isn't football, NCAA bowling is no exception to the competition and the Lady Hawks of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) found that out this weekend, the hard way.

UMES opened their season at the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) Fright Knight Invite and posted a 6-7 mark, their worst start to a season since the NCAA has hosted a championship. That isn't to say that the Hawks weren't in contention, or won't be this season.

The event started well for UMES as the Lady Hawks topped #6 Sacred Heart in Baker matches, 827-723. They then knocked off Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) rival #9 Delaware State 784-751. The host Knights, ranked seventh in the nation, then posted a win over UMES 890-799. The Hawks rebounded to topple #13 Adelphi 763-747 before falling 708-673 in a stunning upset to no. 19 St. Francis.

Heading into day two with a 3-2 mark UMES played team games where one Hawk flew high in the individual rankings, Maria Rodriguez. Rodriguez posted a pin fall of 1,117 over five games for an amazing 223.40 average, the third highest in the field and it earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

The rest of the team didn't fare as well however. UMES did get a solid outing of Martha Perez who knocked down 966 pins for an average of 193.20. National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) Rookie of the Year Kristina Frahm was off her game however. She finished outside of the top 30 bowlers, rolling just an 890, an average of 178.

No other Hawk finished better than 40th. That meant that a 2-3 record in team games as UMES fell 939-883 to no. 15 Wisconsin-Whitewater, 835-817 to unranked Morgan State and 980-963 to no. 8 New Jersey City University (NJCU). They did pick up a 939-854 win over no. 17 St. Peter's and a 958-926 victory over no. 16 Kutztown.



Day three of the event was match play Baker format. Kutztown got revenge for the last match, taking a 4-0 win over UMES. The Lady Hawks rebounded to top Wisconsin-Whitewater 4-2 before meeting up with the same Kutztown team that repeated their performance with a 4-0 win.

UMES finished sixth in the event with a 6-7 mark while Kutztown was fifth with the same record. No. 2 Vanderbilt, whom UMES didn't play, won the event with an 11-2 mark. Host FDU was second with the same record while NJCU was third posting an 8-5 mark. DSU was fourth win an 8-5 record, one of those losses coming to UMES.

"It was a rough weekend," said Head Coach Sharon Brummell. "We just didn't bowl well. I think we will improve. Honestly, although 10 or more wins would have been great, this was good for our team. You forget how hard you have to work and how hard it is to win after taking the championship. We have three starters back and other veterans so we will be ok. Being no. 1 means you get everybody's best, now we realize that and we will be ready to give our best back every time we step on the lanes."

UMES will step on those lanes next weekend, Nov. 8 & 9 in a MEAC Northern Division match-up in Washington, D.C.