UMES INKS TWO BOWLERS TO NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT
July 22, 2014
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Second-year head coach Kayla Bandy wasted no time in completing her first recruiting class for the Hawks of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). She inked native New Yorker, Melanie Copey and continued the international tradition with the signing of Aruba's Thashaina Seraus.
"Building on an experienced and strong roster for next season, I am excited to have Copey and Seraus join us next year," said Bandy. "They both bring a disciplined physical game, a passion for the sport of bowling and the same dedication to success that our team prides itself on."
Copey, a true freshman from Ontario, N.Y. bowled for Webster Schroeder H.S. while competing in numerous regional events, including the Junior Gold Championships each of the past three seasons. This past season Copy averaged a 214 while serving her team as captain and earning Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors for the fourth straight year. Her work ethic paid off as she improved her average each year, going from a 172 as a freshman to a 188 as a 10th grader to a 193 as a junior and up 21 pins this past year. She also posted a 210 average in the Sr. League of Webster, N.Y.
Like the team she will bowl for, Copey is strong academically, earning High Honor Roll distinction, membership in the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, the Merit Society and an Outstanding Academic Achievement award.
Her bowling honors include High Scratch Series in the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) NYS Youth Team Tournament, All-Greater Rochester Team, the USBC Youth Association's Gladys Street Scholarship, High Scratch Girls, Mixed Doubles and Girls Scratch Doubles titles at March Madness. She won numerous All-County awards, high game awards, YBT Champion, a JBT Runner-Up and champion honors on modified oil patterns, won numerous Bowler of the Week accolades, shot a 756 high series and even tossed a perfect game in 2013.
She won the Greece Invitational in 2013 and the Upstate Challenge in 2014 against difficult fields and considers them among her best sports moments.
Coached by Rich Ferraro, Copey intends to major in Biology at UMES and work as a Physician's Assistant. "Coach Ferraro made me the bowler I am today and he taught me to give everything I have to this sport," said Copey. "Achieving a Division I scholarship in it means the world to me and has helped me inspire younger kids to achieve their goals. I want to bring that philosophy to UMES."
"Melanie is a hard worker on the lanes as well as in the classroom," added Bandy. "She is a go-getter that will stop at nothing to reach her utmost potential. Most importantly she is a strong student. She exemplifies what the Hawk bowling program is all about. Melanie will be a huge contributor to the continued success of our program for years to come."
Copey is joined by Seraus who is the first bowler from Aruba to bowl for the Hawks. She hails from Oranjestad, Aruba. Like her counterparts before her, Seraus brings a wealth of international experience to the lanes, something that just can't be taught.
"International student-athletes bring with them a ton of experience competing against the most elite bowlers in the world," said Bandy. "As our international student-athletes have represented their countries in major competitions throughout their youth, they come to UMES knowing how to get the job done, what it takes to be the best and have developed a work ethic that is unsurpassed."
"This was the biggest achievement for me and my country," Seraus said of her 2013 World Cup finish. "I had fun, enjoyed myself, had effective communication with my coach and really showed what we could do."
In other events internationally Seraus helped Aruba win a bronze medal in Trios at the South American Games in 2010 in Colombia, home to several current and former Hawk bowlers. One year later in 2011 she finished as the 10th seed in the Pan-American Games in Mexico with a 195.5 average. She lost in the match-play round to the eventual runner-up Jennifer Park of Canada. That same event saw UMES' own Anggie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia), who won four National Championships and was a multi-time All-America selection for the Hawks, finish as the 14th seed. The following year, 2012, Seraus took seventh with a 202.7 average at the Champion of Champions PABCON.
Seraus is also no stranger to bowling in the United States, having spent time training for Aruba at the International Training and Research Center (ITRC) in Arlington, Texas where UMES has trained and competed in the past. Her fellow country woman Kamilah Dammers bowls for Webber International in the states and won a USBC Collegiate National Championship back in 2012.
"I hope I can help the team as best as possible," said Seraus. "I want to give 100% of myself to be a good team player and have good communication with my teammates and my coach."
"Thashaina has had a lot of experience and continual success competing for her country of Aruba," added Bandy. "She is a team player and is dedicated to the development of her game. I am excited to see her join the UMES family and complete our roster. Like [Copey], she will play a large role in the continued success and development of our program."
UMES will open the season October 31, 2014 at the New Jersey Jamboree.