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LINCOLN, Neb.-  The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) came a pin shy of bowling for a fourth NCAA National Championship last weekend, but today in Lincoln, Neb., they earned a berth in the championship final for the Intercollegiate Team Championships (ITC) and a chance to win a fifth National Championship in the last six years.Maryland Eastern Shore

After the Hawks started the day with a 4-1 win over Wichita State, they had to wait seven hours to see who they would play again.  Like it was in the morning, they would face the Shockers again in the afternoon.  The Hawks had sent WSU to the contenders bracket in the morning and they knew no matter who emerged from the fray they would have two chances to make the championship final.  With no losses on their slate, UMES only needed one crack at Wichita State, a 4-2 victory that ensured they would bowl for their sixth National Championship in program history and second United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Collegiate Championship.

The Shockers jumped on the Hawks early, taking game one 217-178, in a game where UMES couldn't strike until the end, but did manage to mark consistently.  Game two saw UMES tie the match with a 235-187 win, as teams found the right lane a little more accommodating.  Switching again WSU posted a 247-182 win in game three, but back on the right UMES tied the match again at two all with a 223-208 game four win.

Then the Hawks broke through.  On the left lane they tallied a 232-210 win and then carried their momentum to the right lane with a 177-173 win, just edging Wichita State and eliminating them from the ITCs.

"The girls stayed together these last couple of days.  If they missed, they picked each other up, it was great to see the teamwork," said head coach Kristina Frahm.

"Our spare shooting has been spectacular this weekend," Frahm added.  "That has been the key to our success so far, we just need to keep it up one more match."

UMES will face Pikeville in the National Championship finale for the right to hoist the Kerm Helmer Cup.  The Bears topped Wright State 4-0 (193-162, 223-168, 236-213,
215-157) in the other semi-final match.  Both UMES and Pikeville escaped the bracket without a loss.

The two teams will face off at noon (Central Time) 1:00 p.m. ET in a best 2-of-3 format.

The shortened finals is due to the long day of television as the USBC will film the men's singles, women's team championships, women's singles and men's team championships throughout the day.  The women's finals will air on CBS Sports Network on May 18th at 10:00 p.m. ET.

The xbowling Intercollegiate Team Championships (formerly the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships), first contested in 1975, is the pinnacle event of the college bowling season. The ITC brings together the top 16 men's and top 16 women's teams in the country to compete for national titles. For a school to participate in the ITC, it must compete in certified college tournaments and conferences throughout the season. By either winning a conference or being one of the top-ranked teams in the country, schools advance to post season sectional qualifying events.


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