FOUR HAWKS CLAIM ALL-AMERICA HONORS; BUJA REPEATS AS ELITE 89 WINNER
April 10, 2013
CANTON, Mich. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) took home some pre-championship hardware Wednesday night in Canton, Mich. at the NCAA Awards Banquet during a presentation from the National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA), NCAA and the Detroit Sports Commission.
The banquet, held each eve of the start of the championships, awarded 25 exceptional young women out of the 475 eligible, with the coveted All-American distinction. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) was the most decorated team of the 61 schools eligible for awards, earning four of the honors. Anggie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia) earned First-Team All-America honors while teammate T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) was a Third-Team selection.
Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) and Kristie Lopez (Ponce, Puerto Pico) both earned Honorable Mention All-America honors. Joining them on the squad was fellow MEAC bowler Thea Aspiras from Norfolk State.
This is the third All-American honor for Ramirez, second for Falbo and first for Alvarado and Lopez.
The other big winner was Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) who earned the NCAA's Elite 89 Award for the second straight year. The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA forma team at the championship final site. It is the most prestigious academic award the NCAA gives out. This is the third straight year UMES won the award as Kristina Frahm, now interim coach, earned the honor in 2011.
The quartet had sensational years. Ramirez was by far the most decorated, earning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year and First-Team All-Conference nods. She was also a member of the MEAC Championship All-Tournament Team and the Most Outstanding Performer. She was a six-time MEAC Player of the Week and two-time tournament MVP. She averaged an impressive 213 in 53 games.
Falbo, while not as dominant as her junior season, was still great. Falbo earned First-Team All-MEAC honors, was a member of the MEAC Championship All-Tournament Team and was a MEAC Player of the Week. She averaged a 197 over 56 games.
Alvarado earned a MEAC Second-Team selection this season and an All-Tournament Team honor at the DSU Capital Classic while earning a MEAC Player of the Week. She averaged a 195 for the season. Lopez, a true freshman, also had a weekly honor form the league. She was great, especially for her first season, posting a 205 average on 33 games.
Buja, an All-MEAC Second Team selection, also earned a MEAC Commissioner's All-Academic Team nod along with Ramirez and Falbo. Buja averaged a 197 in 53 games, certainly numbers worthy of recognition.
"I am so proud of these young ladies," said Frahm. "They have all worked hard on the lanes and in the classroom and deserve any accolade they earn. They were all great this season and are all a huge part of why we are here. Anggie [Ramirez] in particular had a phenomenal year and is clearly one of the best bowlers in the country this season."
"Megan [Buja] winning for the second straight year is also very special, I know how it feels to win that award and to be the best and brightest in your sport two years running, what an honor for her, the team and the University."
Other awards handed out on the night included the Player of the Year, which went for the second straight year to Danielle McEwan of Fairleigh Dickinson for DI and Natalie Jimenez of Central Missouri for the DII/DII schools. Mary Wells was the DII/DIII Rookie of the Year, while Robyn Renslow of Vanderbilt won for DI.
Bill Straub of Nebraska and Leann Eimmerman of Wisconsin-Whitewater were the Coach of the Year for DI and DII/DIII respectively.
UMES and the other seven teams get started tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in Super Bowl Lanes in Canton, Mich. Thursday is a seeding round while the double elimination bracket begins on Friday.