GREENSBORO, NC (Feb. 25) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers were within 10 pins of taking the top spot from the tournament host Aggies of North Carolina A&T State at the MEAC Southern Division Bowling Tournament in front of a packed house at Greensboro’s AMF lanes.
The Lady Rattlers who came into the tournament in third place, moved up to a second place finish in the tournament, securing their slot in the MEAC Championship Tournament in Chesapeake, Va.
In day one of the tournament, the Lady Rattlers went an unscathed 3-0 in traditional matches defeating Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman. Sophomore Monique Ragland led all scorers in traditional play, scoring at an average of 212 per game. Keondra Eaton averaged 186.33, Demetria Bethel averaged 184.3, Jazmin Aron averaged 167.6 and Mikayla Davis averaged 152.6 in traditional play.
Coach Karen Brown was pleased with the performance of her kegglers. “I beat myself up with a score that close. When you’re competing against a hall of famer in coach Terrell-Kearney, it takes an exceptional effort to overcome that. It was so close, it’s heartbreaking to be that close. Their heart, energy and will of our young ladies was outstanding.
Brown took solace in the fact that senior Jazmine Aron stepped up her play in the final stretch of the season. The Lady Rattlers is quite a young team as Aron is the only senior. The remainder of the team is comprised of two freshmen and the remainder of the team are sophomores, providing a glimpse of a strong team for years to come.
Still, Brown, still energized from the team’s effort, feels this is the momentum needed for the run to the MEAC crown. “The girls did everything they could. It was so doggone close. We were in third place going into the weekend. We just came in there with Rattler pride and stormed through. It was beautiful for the ladies to set us up for the conference tournament. I can’t say how proud I am of them. When you see your students giving all-out effort, you know what you have to do next time,” Brown said.
In Baker play, Ragland is the leadoff. Her solid play has ignited the team. Eaton also helped propel the team. As the anchor in Baker play, she swept the lanes clean. In between, the rest of the Lady Rattler put on a sprited and masterful performance.
“From December to now, I have seen a unique focus from our team in adjusting for the second half. We introduced new drills and they have absorbed it and brought that to competition. They are growing and I am excited about heading into the conference tournament.” Brown said.