ALTOONA, Pa. – The No. 20 Norfolk State bowling team fell to host Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday in the championship match during the last day of the Red Flash Invitational at the Holiday Lanes.
The Spartans posted a 3-2 record on Friday during the first day of action and then went 4-1 on Saturday in traditional play to set them up for a third-place standing heading into Sunday. There, NSU won its first two matches but fell to No. 19 Saint Francis to take second place in the tournament.
Overall, the Spartans finished with a 9-4 record on the weekend.
Friday’s Baker play began with a 909-850 loss to Kutztown for the Spartans, who turned around and defeated Medaille College, 898-699, and Duquesne, 893-835. NSU struggled in its next match, suffering a 923-779 defeat at the hand of Caldwell. The Spartans then rolled a 208 in the first game on the way to an 869-698 victory over Wilmington University to close out the day’s action.
Junior Meagan Marciano rolled a 202, but it was not enough as the Spartans began Saturday’s traditional play with an 875-820 loss to Mount Aloysius. From there, though, NSU improved its game to win the last four matches.
It began with an 843-820 victory over Felician, followed by a 972-924 triumph over No. 18 Adelphi. Sophomore Alexa Rodriguez (231), freshman Jasmin Whitaker (222) and junior Briana Gardner (215) each rolled 200 games to pace the Spartans.
Whitaker had two more 200 games to help lead NSU to victories over Saint Peter’s (1,000-877) and Mount Aloysius (992-923). Whitaker finished with a 188.8 average in all five games for her best tournament of the season.
Gardner bowled in all five matches and averaged 196.4 to earn all-tournament honors. Rodriguez competed in the last three games of the afternoon and averaged 215.7. In addition, Marciano tallied a 183.0 average in two games, and sophomore Yarelis Burgos posted a 174.3 average in three games.
Freshman Aubrey Conrad surged late to boost her average to 171.3 in four matches, while freshman Heizel Quinones also competed in three matches on the day.
Thanks to its improved play late in the day on Saturday, NSU ranked third with a 178.3 average for the tournament behind Adelphi and host Saint Francis heading into the last day of play.
The Spartans downed Mount Aloysius by a 4-3 score on Sunday in the first round of bracket play. NSU won the last three games by scores of 178-159, 187-150 and 216-160 to recover from a 3-1 deficit and win the best-of-seven match.
Norfolk State had a 255 in the fifth and final game against Adelphi in the next round to secure a 4-1 win. Then in the championship match, Saint Francis (Pa.) won three of the first four games on the way to a 4-2 victory over NSU.
The Spartans will next compete at the James Brown Invitational hosted by Morgan State on Feb. 17-19 before the last MEAC Southern Divisional of the year two weeks later.
Originally published at nsuspartans.com