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HBCU Bowling Squads Are Making Their Mark Nationally
By Tony McClean
Updated: January 11, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — During the winter months, the focus of most fans of Black college sports are mainly on the basketball court. However instead of focusing on the paint, they may want to keep the eyes on the bowling lanes as several HBCU women’s bowling teams are making waves on a national level.
A look at the latest National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) monthly poll, which was released this past Wednesday, shows seven HBCU teams in their top 16 rankings, including three schools in the top ten.
Maryland-Eastern Shore (18-2 MEAC, 47-9 overall) earned their highest ranking this season, moving up from sixth to fifth place with 373 total points.
The defending MEAC champs picked up nine wins during the winter break as they finished second to Fairleigh Dickinson (the NTCA’s top-ranked squad) in the FDU Holiday Jamboree.
Leaders of the MEAC’s Northern Division, the Lady Hawks boast four of the conference’s 10 highest scores of the year including Laura Zanrucha (224.0), Marion Singleton (213.80), Cristine King (206.00), and Michelle Wallace (194.00).
Two SWAC schools, Alabama A&M (19-9) and Texas Southern (32-11) are seventh and ninth respectively. The Bulldogs, who lost to FDU in last year’s national finals, fell from fifth to seventh.
AAMU has been inactive since their second place finish in the Maverick Invitational in Chicago back in November. They’ll return to action this weekend at the Southern University Invite at Baton Rouge, La.
The Jaguars (16-8) are in a group of three other HBCU schools in the NTCA poll. Morgan State (27-14) sits at No. 11, Southern is No. 12, Bethune-Cookman (17-3) is 15th, and Delaware State (21-19-1) is at No. 16.
The Wildcats, leaders of the MEAC’s Southern Division, dropped one spot while the Hornets have reappeared on the poll with 41 total points after being knocked out of last month’s rankings.
Both schools will compete in this weekend’s MEAC Round-Up in High Point, N.C.
This week’s poll was the third of six monthly polls, conducted and released by the NTCA for the 2006-2007 season. The Sweet 16 poll is compiled using votes from various bowling coaches who head NCAA sponsored women’s bowling programs and are also members of NTCA.
The association uses the poll to keep record of and rank teams leading up to the women’s NCAA National Bowling Championship held on April 12-14, in Apopka, Fla.