The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore women’s bowling team returned to champion status after routing the No. 6 ranked Morgan State University Lady Bears, 4-0, to claim its fifth Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Bowling Championship title on March 20 at the Gate City Lanes in Greensboro, N.C.

UMES has consistently been one of the best bowling teams to come out of its conference throughout the last decade, but has not won a MEAC title since 2008 when it went on to also win the NCAA Bowling Championship. Instead, it was the Delaware State University Lady Hornets who stole the MEAC crown last season. But when the defending champion surprisingly fell to Morgan State in this year’s MEAC semifinal, it set up a championship dance between the Lady Bears and UMES.

Unfortunately for Morgan State, there would be no more surprising victories, as UMES dominated nearly every round, winning by an average of 30 points per game.

“What took us over was the fact that we were able to make our spares,” UMES head coach Sharon Brummell said. “I constantly drive into the young ladies that we have to make spares and it proved to be worth it today.”

Maryland Eastern Shore junior Paula Vilas earned Outstanding Tournament Performer honors after leading her team with points in most of the games played throughout the entire MEAC Tournament. She even bowled a high score of 193 against Norfolk State during qualifications.

“It feels amazing; I did not expect this award,” said Vilas, a right-handed bowler from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. “When they called my name I was in shock, but I appreciate the honor.”

Coach Brummell was also honored with the Outstanding Coach award, the fifth time she’s earned such honor.

“This fifth championship was very special for me because of our three seniors (Kristina Frahm, Martha Perez and Maria Rodriguez). This was their last MEAC Bowling Championship,” said Brummell, who became the first woman and African-American person to lead a school to the NCAA Bowling Title three years ago. “They were a part of the 2008 National Championship team and they really wanted to go out with a win and they were able to achieve that.”

UMES will now prepare for the NCAA Championship scheduled to begin April 14 in Taylor, Mich. In the meantime, a repeat of the MEAC Bowling Championship finale will air on ESPNU on March 28 at 7 p.m.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor