HAWKS `READY TO ROLL' INTO CLEVELAND
April 12, 2012
CLEVELAND - After dominating the collegiate bowling world in 2011, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) could have been content to sit back on their laurels and talk about how great of a season they had. After all, it is 2012 and they lost three seniors with 10 All-America nods between them and then they lost their coach, who suddenly retired mid-year as one of the most successful ever to coach the game. Instead they decided to try and do it again, strengthening what some have already called `a dynasty.'
While the three seniors aren't bowling anymore, they have been replaced by four freshmen. "I am so excited for my first NCAA Championship, this is a big reason I wanted to bowl here, to be the best," said one of those freshmen, Victoria Jones.
But not gone too far is Kristina Frahm who was a member of the UMES championship teams in 2008 and 2011. Now, as head coach, she has a unique perspective heading into the tournament.
"Now we have to work harder," she said. "It's always an honor to attend but we plan to do more than that, we plan on defending our championship." She knows better than anyone how hard it is to win one and then to try and defend it.
Frahm, who took over in January for Sharon Brummell, a two-time National Coach of the Year, guided her Hawks to a 101-32 record on the year, the second most wins in the nation.
While the wins piled up, many thought the Hawks have fallen off in the second half of the year, missing out on their conference title and dropping in the polls. "We didn't bowl well at MEACs," said Frahm. "I am the first to say it, but one tournament doesn't make our season, we have actually gotten better since winning Kutztown." That tournament is the only one UMES won this season, but it is the biggest field in NCAA bowling.
After winning tournament titles in several states and cities throughout the country in program history, UMES sets their sites on Cleveland, or technically Wickliffe, Ohio where they will look for a record-tying third NCAA title this weekend at the nation's biggest bowling center.
Competition begins on Thursday with qualifying rounds in which each team bowls one five-person regular team game against each of the other seven teams participating in the championship for a total of seven games.
Teams will be seeded for bracket play based on their win-loss record during the qualifying rounds. Teams will then compete in best-of-seven-games Baker matches in a double elimination tournament. In the Baker format, each of the five team members, in order, bowls a complete frame until a complete 10-frame game is completed.
Day one and two action will be webcast on NCAA.com. Fans can follow all the action there and at umeshawks.com.