GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina A&T’s women’s bowling team is on a roll, with the team winning another MEAC championship in four seasons.
“It feels great. It was a really awesome feeling my freshman year when we did that and to do it my first year and then as well as my last year, I thought was pretty cool,” senior Cameron Strombeck said.
“I wanted to be able to close my senior year with no regrets and have a really cool closure to it and what a great way to do it with being the best one in the conference,” senior Ana Olaya said.
Strombeck and Olaya credit growth and trust for a strong dynamic.
“You get up there and you know if you make a mistake or if you split or miss a spare or whatever, you don’t panic because you know you have a whole team behind you that’s more than capable of holding you up, and it’s just a really secure feeling,” Strombeck said.
“Bowling is more of an individual sport. College bowling on the other side is just home and family and getting to know more people and sisterhood, so the fact that we have to rely on each other it’s just natural to us,” Olaya said.
This is the second MEAC title under head coach Kim Kearney.
Kearney has a list of achievements in the sport as a collegiate athlete, a 10-time professional title holder including three majors, and as a coach with national and international experience.
“I’m proud and grateful for all of the things that I’ve been able to do in the sport, but this is the thing that moves me. It wakes me up in the morning,” Kearney said.
That passion is a big part of getting results in a relatively short period of time.
“It’s a challenge, just getting kids in here that love to bowl. I think that’s really been kind of our recipe in recruiting” Kearney said. “You could play well, but if you don’t love the game, then it’s going to feel like too much work if you’re bowling at this level.”
“A lot of our young ladies want to bowl on the professional tour and so they understand how much hard work it takes,” assistant coach Eric Kearney said.
Even though the team is proud of another MEAC championship, it has its sights set even higher – a national championship. The Aggies will compete in the NCAA Bowling Championship Tournament April 7-10 in Kansas City, Mo.
They will compete with their highest ranking in program history as the No. 3 overall seed.