VIRGINIA UNION INVITE
Friday, November 2 – Sunday, November 4
Glen Allen, Virginia | Bowl America Short Pump
Host: Virginia Union University
All three days will be streamed live on the Mount Bowling Facebook account.
Friday – (5) five-game baker matches
Saturday – (5) traditional matches
Sunday – (3) best-of-seven baker bracket matches
The Virginia Union Invite will have 20 teams in the field, including all the Northeast Conference teams except for LIU Brooklyn. The teams in attendance include: Mount St. Mary's, Virginia Union, Fayetteville State, Howard, Norfolk State, Chestnut Hill, #12 Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Chowan, Coppin State, Felician, #9 Fairleigh Dickinson, Mt. Aloysius, Bowie State, Virginia State, Morgan State, New Jersey City, Wilmington, #20 Duquesne, and #13 Saint Francis U.
The Mountaineers are coming off a second-place finish at the team's first-ever home tournament, the Mount Shootout, on October 20-21. Mount St. Mary's went a perfect 5-0 on the opening day of the tournament, knocking off Wilmington, Medaille, Robert Wesleyan, New Jersey City, and 24th-ranked Kutztown. Rebecca Dodson averaged a 202.60, and Ashley Santos registered a 202 to lead the Mount on day one, as the duo posted the third and fourth-highest scores respectively, which earned them both All-Tournament Team honors.
On the final day of the tournament, Dodson paced the Mountaineers with a 21.06 baker average, and Tamera Stanton recorded a 19.27. The Mount opened the day with baker match wins over Mount Aloysius and Felician, and the team's 180.2 average between the five traditional games on Saturday and two baker matches on Sunday earned the Mount the No. 3 seed heading into bracket play. Mount St. Mary's knocked off #24 Kutztown in the first-round matchup of bracket play, winning the best-of-seven by a 4-0 margin to earn a spot in the championship round. The #13 team in the country, Saint Francis U, was able to grind out a 4-1 victory over the Mount in the championship, as the Mountaineers rounded out the tournament with an 8-1 record and a runner-up finish.
The Mountaineers, who won their first-ever tournament in program history at the Bud Whitman Memorial to open the season, have recorded two trophy finishes in three tournaments on the year.
Following her strong performance at the Mount Shootout, Dodson was named the Northeast Conference (NEC) Player and Rookie of the Week. She became the second straight Mountaineer to claim Rookie of the Week honors, following up Tamera Stanton's award on October 18. Dodson averaged a league-high 20.57 pins per frame during the week, and rolled 44 strikes in 88 attempts at the Mount Shootout.
The Mount's inaugural team is comprised of nine freshmen from eight different states. Erin Burkart (Marrero, La.), Haley Buser (Birdsboro, Pa.), Rebecca Dodson (Panama City, Fla.), Kayla Durbala (Gaithersburg, Md.), Barbara Hawes (Flint, Mich.), Emily Mele (Wall, N.J.), Danielle Milo (Orchard Park, N.Y.), Ashley Santos (Fresno, Calif.) and Tamera Stanton (Baltimore, Md.) make up the Mount's first-year squad.
AT THE HELM
DeGraaf was announced as the head coach to lead the first-ever Mount women's bowling team in February of this year. He came the Mount following a stint as the assistant women's bowling coach at fellow Northeast Conference member Saint Francis U, where he helped lead SFU to a 75-47 overall record in 2016-17 as the Red Flash reached the national rankings.
During his collegiate bowling days, DeGraaf was a two-time team captain at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. DeGraaf earned Siena Heights Male Bowler of the Year honors and captured two individual titles during his career, as he became the first male bowler in school history to place first individually. DeGraaf also earned Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference All-Academic Team and National Ten-Pin Coaches Association Academic All-American honors each year from 2013-16.
The Mountaineers next action is at the Hawk Invite, hosted by Maryland Eastern Shore, on November 16-18.