Feb. 13, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When the Fayetteville State Lady Broncos bowling team recently notched career win No. 600 for Bobby Henderson, the veteran head coach was pleased, but relieved at the same time. He had lost sleep the night before, and mostly wanted the historic mark to come and go.
Besides, he and the Lady Broncos have other plans. They want to defend their CIAA Championship.
Over the weekend, they took another big step toward achieving that goal.
Fayetteville State reaffirmed its perch as the elite team in the CIAA, finishing the CIAA Roundup with the best record at 15-3, including a 6-0 stretch of play in Sunday's Baker matches, while racking up a league-high pin total of 13,574 - just under 1,000 more than its nearest competitor.
The Lady Broncos improved to staggering 48-6 on the season, and now rank 22nd in the nation in the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) poll.
Fayetteville State's Kiara Reid (Jr., Rocky Mount, N.C.) was named as the roundup's Most Valuable Player, finishing the three-day event with the league's highest average at 180.33 and outpacing the second place bowler, Bowie State's Shayla Lightfoot (173.25), by seven pins.
The Lady Broncos placed three bowlers among the top eight in average, with Fayetteville freshman Crystal Mujica ranking seventh at 162.83. De'Andrea Bethea (Jr., Raleigh, N.C.) was eighth at 158.58.
Three other Fayetteville State bowlers, Kelly Wakerhauser (Sr., Portage, Wis.; 18th, 152.7), Megan Maynor (Fr., Fayetteville, N.C.; 22nd, 148.83) and Daisy Weishman (So., Fayetteville, N.C.; 24th, 146.5) each ranked among the top 25.
Fayetteville State finished the first two days of play 9-3, with close losses coming against Elizabeth City State, Virginia State and Chowan.
But the Lady Broncos rolled in the Baker matches and were tested just once, in their first match of the day against Virginia State. Fayetteville State won that match 603-598, but won each of its last five Baker matches by at least 115 pins, with four of them each by 150 pins or more.
Fayetteville State will travel to the Morgan State Invitational in Baltimore for another three-day event this weekend. The Lady Broncos will then close their season after hosting the third Southern Division event from March 16-18 before returning to the CIAA Bowling Championships from March 23-26 in Durham, N.C.