Skurzynski, Roberts earn Preseason All-MEAC Honors

UMES Hawks picked to finish on top of conference

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland — University of Maryland Eastern Shore junior Chloe Skurzynski (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) and sophomore Brooke Roberts (Port Orange, Florida) have been name to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason All-MEAC squad as voted on by the league’s coaches and sports information directors.

The Hawks, who rolled through conference play last season without losing a match (24-0), were also picked to win this year’s crown.

“Chloe and Brooke worked really hard last season and really contributed to our success so I’m happy they are receiving this honor,” Hawks coach Kayla Bandy said. “I think it’s important to again establish how they can best contribute to our team’s success like they did last year. Each season, each team, has a different dynamic where everyone re-establishes their role in order for the team to reach its maximum potential. Both have solid physical games and obviously know how to contribute to the team’s success, that’s apparent with this honor, now it’s building on what they accomplished last year to advance to yet another level of success for themselves and the team.”

Skurzynski ended last season with First-Team All-MEAC honors as well as Honorable Mentions All-American status from the National Tenpin Coaches Association. She ranked No. 16 in the NTCA Player Composite Performance Index — Highest off any Hawk on the list. She finished No. 12 in the country in overall Strike Percentage (49.6%) and No. 12 in Traditional strike percentage (50.0%). She was No. 13 on the NTCA Top 200 List with a 203.09 Traditional average — tops on the team — and was No. 14 in Traditional average per frame with 20.266. Skurzynski bowled 69.4% of team’s games and half of her 34 games were scored 200 or better.

She was No. 15 in the country on nine-or-better on first ball with a 75.7% and No. 12 in first-ball average pinfall with 9.050. Her 76% of nine-or-better on the first ball in Baker format placed her No. 5 while her 9.060 Baker average on the first ball was 9th in the country. She boasted a Traditional first ball average of 9.033 (No. 15) and ranked No. 10 in Baker double percentage with 53.0%. She made the All-Tournament Team at the Sugar Bowl Invitational, won MEAC Player of the Week once and finished the year with MEAC All-Academic honors.

Roberts was the conference Rookie of the Year last season and made Second-Team All-MEAC. She was a three-time MEAC Rookie of the Week last season, and she was also named Bowler of the Week on Feb. 25 after being named MVP of the second MEAC regular-season meet. She finished No 9 in the country in single-pin Traditional spare percentage with 95.1%. For the season, Roberts averaged 196.2 pins overall (197.1 in traditional play, 195.5 in Baker) and had an overall fill rate of 84.4 percent. Her strike rate was 45.1 percent, and she was strong in cleaning up the lane as well, with an all-spare rate of 71.6 percent and a single-pin spare rate of 92.3 percent.

The Hawks were picked to win the conference after receiving 15 of a possible 22 first-place nods.

“I feel like we have one of the best recruiting classes as a whole this season to add to an already impressive team hungry to pick off where our graduating seniors left us at,” Bandy said. “Paulina Torres (Ponce, Puerto Rico), our lone Senior, is killing it in the classroom and preparing for medical school after graduation. I say this because in order to perform on the lanes we have to have it together off the lanes. Little things like that make a big difference. A good team must have strong leadership and I’m excited to see how Paulina leads her team this season.”

Eastern Shore finished last season with an 84-29 record, boasted the highest winning percentage in the NCAA and earned a slew of postseason honors. However, the loss of postseason play including the MEAC and NCAA Championships as well at the United States Bowling Congress Championship meant the careers of departed seniors Cayla Hicks (Salem, Virginia) and Brigitte Jacobs (Freeport, Illinois) ended without any more titles. “The student athletes are learning how to roll with rapid changes and overcoming things I never thought they would have to face,” Bandy said. “I am SO READY to get to work on the lanes because this group deserves to compete and show what they are made of thru all of this.”