March 23, 2014
DURHAM, NC - The Lady Trojans of Virginia State rallied past Fayetteville State twice in the finals of the CIAA Bowling Championships at AMF Durham Lanes on Sunday, March 23, 2014. They won both matches 4-3 for their third league crown.
The top-seeded Lady Broncos were one win away from winning the championship after leading 3-1 in the first match. But the Trojans came back to beat FSU, and then they prevailed in seven games of the second match to take home the trophy.
"We gave it our best shot, but [Virginia State] got hot in the end," said Fayetteville State Head Coach Bobby Henderson, whose Lady Broncos won the Southern Division title.
Sophomore Crystal Mujica (Fayetteville, NC) finished with the second highest individual average to be named to the All-Tournament Team. In five games bowled, Mujica averaged a 178 from 890 pins.
Rookie of the Year Jasmin Aponte (Fayetteville, NC) was slighted post tournament honors by one slot. She averaged 164.8. Ashley Cooper (Rocky Mount, NC) followed with a 162.4 average.
The Trojans, seeded second, battled their way to the crown in the elimination bracket after suffering their first bracket loss, a 4-1 defeat to the Lady Broncos earlier in the day. They won their last three matches 4-3 including a tough victory over Bowie State after falling behind 3-2.
The win set up a rematch against Fayetteville State for the championship. It was the third straight finals appearance for the Trojans.
The Lady Broncos were unbeaten in bracket play and only needed a win over the Trojans for the championship. They appeared to have it after leading 3-1 in the first match, but the Trojans didn't roll over.
Virginia State won three consecutive games to hand the Lady Broncos their first loss in bracket play. FSU took a 3-2 lead in the second match but the Trojans regrouped to win two in a row for the championship. VSU seized control in the last game with three consecutive strikes and won 200-180.
Every game in the finals was won in the right lane except the last game. The Trojans clinched the title in the left lane.
Senior Amber Seay of VSU was selected Most Valuable Bowler in the tournament. She rolled two of the team's five strikes in the seventh and decisive game in the second match which clinched the championship.
"The left lane was drier," Seay said. "The right lane was what we were used to for our pocket shots. We struggled in the left lane, but it was all or nothing."
Seay headed the CIAA All-Tournament Team. The squad included Ashley Wade and Shayla Lightfoot of Bowie State, Nicole Sciortino of Saint Augustine's, Crystal Mujica of Fayetteville State and Clements of Virginia State.