Monday, February 15, 2016

NCA&T Aggies Beat No. 2 Nebraska, Win SFA's Tournament

Senior Emily Strombeck was named tournament MVP
 at the Stormin Ladyjack Classic hosted by
 Stephen F. Austin.

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
HOUSTON, Texas  – The North Carolina A&T bowling team moved back into the National Tenpin Coaches Association Top-10 poll this month at No. 10 after dropping to No. 11 in last month’s poll. The Aggies then went out and proved they belonged there by winning the Stormin Ladyjack Classic hosted by Stephen F. Austin. The Aggies went an impressive 10-3 to improve to 49-28 on the season.

In doing so, the Aggies defeated the No. 2 team in the nation in Nebraska, the No. 4 team Sam Houston State, the No. 8 team SFA and the No. 9 team Farleigh Dickinson. The Aggies defeated FDU 4-3 in the best of seven championship round to win the tournament. Two-time MEAC Bowler of the Year and All-American senior Emily Strombeck won tournament MVP honors by posting a season-high 225.67 average.

In addition, Strombeck, one of the best bowlers in school if not Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference history, had a career game with a 287 in a traditional game win over Grambling. Strombeck had plenty of help as junior MacKenzie Robinson finished seventh with an average of 213.33 and sophomore Kori Smith placed 16th with an average of 202.33. Sophomore Kristin Shinn came close to making it four Aggies with an average of 200 or better when she closed out the tournament with a 196.5 average.

“The team was on a mission,” said N.C. A&T head coach James Williams. “To have three girls average over 200, with one being the tournament MVP, and to have a fourth at 196, is something special. Everyone contributed at some point throughout the weekend. On Saturday it was big game after big game, and it was good to see everyone step up and take turns.”

The Aggies went 6-0 on Saturday in traditional play to earn the No. 1 seed in Sunday’s tournament bracket play. The Aggies squeezed out five close wins over nationally-ranked opponents in the process. They took down No. 16 Monmouth 988-927 as Shinn finished with a score of 212 and Robinson had 210. The Aggies then defeated FDU 1,073-1,018 as Smith’s 249 was complemented by Strombeck’s 215 and Robinson’s 214.

In the Aggies 1,094-1,035 win over SHSU put together a 256 and Robinson, Smith and Shinn also had games over 200. Perhaps the most entertaining game of the day came against No. 14 LIU-Brooklyn as the Aggies won 1,025-1,020. The Aggies needed all the help they could get to eke out the win as Shinn bowled a 252 and Robinson aided with a 244.

The Aggies closed by beating SFA 966-919. Again the Aggies leading foursome led the way as Shinn’s 224 paced N.C. A&T.

 On Sunday the Aggies opened with Nebraska and defeated the Cornhuskers 3-0 with two ties in the best out of seven contest. The Aggies then went on to beat FDU for the title after losing the first three games in the best out of seven.

“Sunday was about finishing,” said Williams. “Finishing what we started. We were able to do that against Nebraska. But our will was tested against FDU. After going down oh-3, the ladies found a way to battle back and win. That’s the heart of a champion.”

Williams credited the team’s Brunswick equipment for allowing the Aggies to do some things most other teams were not able to do. He also credited the team’s ability to communicate.

“The communication was fantastic as well as our ability to make adjustments quickly,” said Williams.  “For the most part the team bowled with patience and aggression. Our spare shooting was
the best it’s been all year.”


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