Sometimes the best victories aren’t always the prettiest ones to look at.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore bowling team didn’t seem like their normal selves in the MEAC Championship, but found a way to come out with a 4-1 victory against North Carolina A&T.
“That was an atrocious exhibition of spare shooting,” Hawks coach Kayla Bandy said. “But it goes back to what happened Saturday. When you are bowling bad you move on to the next shot, tell yourself you are going to execute it and at the end of the day you just have to be better than the team that’s on the pair with you.”
Bandy’s squad fell early in the best-of-seven Baker format 175-170 in game one. Thashaina Seraus was the difference maker for the Hawks in game two, rattling off two back-to-back strikes in the tenth frame, hitting an eight and sealing the win 193-188.
Despite a momentum seize, the Aggies stayed right on pace with the Hawks throughout the series. Games three and four were decided by just 11 total points, swinging favor over to Maryland Eastern Shore.
Reserve players and depth proved to be the key to successful momentum in the four wins for the Hawks, especially in games three and four.
“You can talk about how deep our squad is all day,” Bandy said. “But until you can be in that circumstance and use your six, seven and eight bowlers it’s not a reality. Today those girls stepped up.
“Jalesa (Johnson) and Melanie (Copey) hadn’t bowled on that pattern all week and today they stepped up. Brigitte (Jacobs) could have come in and been successful. Kaci stepped up yesterday early on in the bracket. I can’t say enough about the entire lineup. We are tough.”
Seraus made the most of opportunities presented to her, coming up in big spots for the Hawks. Those clutch moments led to Seraus being named Most Outstanding Performer for the tournament.
Bandy was named Most Outstanding Coach and Seraus and Alexandra Hernandez both represented the Hawks on the 2017 MEAC Bowling All-Tournament Team.
Next the Hawks will have to wait and see if they will hear their names called for the NCAA Championships.
“The only thing that can keep us from achieving what we want to achieve is ourselves and there are 11 bowlers who are relentless about what they want out of this season,” Bandy said. “They put in the work. They know we have to get better still. So, we are going to go back and we are waiting to hear our name called on Wednesday.”