Jan. 16, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB bowling team competed in four tournaments during the fall semester and concluded the 2012 portion of its schedule by knocking off a pair of nationally ranked teams.
Here is a look back at each tournament that the UAB bowling team competed in and head coach Michelle Crews' thoughts on the upcoming spring schedule.
Central Florida Classic: Fourth Place
In the five-team tournament, UAB took home fourth place, competing against Webber International, Florida State, UCF and Florida.
UAB featured four bowlers that placed in the top-25 individually, led by Marissa Ferreira who placed seventh with an average pin fall of 186.3 for the tournament. She fired a first round total of 578, including an impressive 213 in the third game on day one of the tournament.
"We didn't finish as well as I had hoped we would overall but it was a great learning tournament for our two new additions to the team this year, Marisa DiPonio and Ali Long," Crews said. "It was the first time we have competed in a USBC event so it was great to bowl against some new schools and even pulled off a big win against Webber International University (defending USBC Intercollegiate Team Champions)."
Bulldog Challenge: Fifth Place
The Blazers struggled in their second tournament of the season, facing Vanderbilt, Alabama A&M and Alabama State in the Bulldog Challenge in Huntsville, Ala. Overall UAB went 0-5, dropping its three matchups before falling in both Baker format rounds.
The five UAB bowlers that competed in the first three matches averaged a score of 169.5, led by Marissa Ferreira, who knocked down a total of 572 pins (190.7/round). In the Baker events, the Blazers registered an average pin fall of 232.
"This was a disappointing tournament for us heading into our NCAA schedule," Crews said. "The girls put up some decent scores but really struggled with their execution and spare shooting. I can only hope this will motivate them to work hard and stay on their toes to finish up this semester."
Hornet Invitational: Fourth Place
UAB finished in fourth place out of six teams at the Hornet Classic hosted by Alabama State at the Brunswick Zone Bowling Center.
UAB battled No. 17 Alabama A&M for third place in the tournament, but fell 4-0. The Blazers were edged just slightly in all four rounds, falling by scores of 159-140, 198-183, 210-207 and 200-174.
The team finished 4-1 in match play prior to falling to Alabama A&M and 2-0 in the Baker format.
Jamie Cowden shined throughout the tournament for the Blazers, placing seventh overall in pin average, putting down 195.2 per match.
Teammate Marissa Ferreira placed 12th with a pin fall average of 182.2 and Leah Walker finished 13th (180.4).
"This is by far one of the best tournaments the team has had to date," Crews said. "We finished with a record of 6-2, which is one of the best win-loss records the team has had when they didn't win a tournament. They really stayed focused on each match, didn't get too far ahead of themselves and stayed in the moment to pull out the wins."
Track Kat Klash Tournament: 10th Place
The UAB bowling team finished in 10th place at the Track Kat Klash Tournament at Huntsville Lanes hosted by Sam Houston State. Eight of the 16 teams that competed in the tournament were nationally ranked as the Blazers knocked off No. 2 Arkansas State and No. 10 Stephen F. Austin during the three-day tournament.
The Blazers finished 6-7 overall in match play for the tournament, including going 2-1 in quad Baker play.
UAB posted a 3-2 record in match play on the first day of the tournament, including an upset of No. 10 Stephen F. Austin (709-655). The Blazers also earned wins over Grambling State (656-519) and Prairie View A&M (712-674). That same day, the Blazers fell to Monmouth (742-714) and Valparaiso (767-636).
In the second day of tournament action, UAB went 1-4 in match play. The lone victory was an impressive one, narrowly knocking off No. 2 Arkansas State (955-945). The Blazers would fall to Saint Francis (959-872), Sam Houston State (908-770), Wisconsin-Whitewater (1052-932) and Nebraska (923-903).
Individually, Marissa Ferreira led the Blazers in average score, knocking down 187.4 pins per round. Right behind Ferreira was Jamie Cowden (185.4) and Leah Walker (184.6).
"This tournament was a great way to end the semester," Crews said. "The team has never finished this high in a field this large and talented. We had a huge win against nationally ranked Arkansas State, where senior Jamie Cowden put three strikes up in the 10th round to lead us to victory.
"We also pulled out a big win against Stephen F. Austin and then had a great match against bowling powerhouse Nebraska where we only lost by 20 pins. The girls are really learning how to get after it and make every shot count."
2013 Spring Outlook
The Blazers will look to ride momentum of their final tournament in 2012 into the spring semester. In total, UAB will compete in five tournaments, including: Mid Winter Invitational, Lady Bulldog Challenge, Hoosier Indy Tournament and the Great Ozark Tournament.
"The girls arrived back to campus on Jan 4th with practice starting on the 5th," Crews said. "They have put in a lot of hours of their own time over the break and have been practicing every day leading up to school starting. We have two tournaments back-to-back to start the semester, first is hosted by Arkansas State and the second is hosted by Bowie State.
"Our goals this semester are simple, gain experience, win matches, increase our total pin fall, gain some respect from our peers and become ranked by the end of the season, which are all very achievable."