Bowling team rallies to win first CIAA Bowling Title

April Emory
March 25, 2009

On the brink of elimination, Elizabeth City State University battled back to capture its first ever CIAA Women's Bowling Championship Monday (March 23) at AMF Durham Lanes. Led by most valuable bowler Tiffany Johnson, the top seed Lady Vikings knocked off No. 2 seed Bowie State University 4-1 and 4-0 in the finals after being nearly ousted from the tournament. The Lady Vikings advanced to the finals only after edging third seed Virginia State University 4-3-1 in the semifinals. "They wanted to win," said Lady Vikings' head coach Jody Williams about his team. "The girls stayed together and stayed focused." The Lady Vikings entered the morning unbeaten in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination baker championship format after two victories Sunday, but they were stunned 4-2 by Bowie State Monday. The loss sent the Lady Vikings to the elimination bracket where they barely held off Virginia State. The seven-game match went to a tiebreaker game. By CIAA rules, the tiebreaker in the elimination round is a modified baker game in which both teams play the last five frames instead of 10 frames in a normal baker game. Getting four straight strikes including three in a row from Johnson, the Lady Vikings slipped past Virginia State in the tiebreaker game to reach the finals for another shot at Bowie State, which was unbeaten in the championship bracket. In the finals, the Lady Vikings dispatched Bowie State twice with ease. Coach Williams was worried during the elimination match, but the Lady Vikings battled through adversity to win three straight matches for the 2008-09 championship. "They had the will to win," Williams said about the Lady Vikings. Joining Johnson on the 2008-09 All-CIAA Tournament Team was Tycora Brown of Bowie State, Keia Marshall of Shaw University, Tiffany Ball of Saint Paul's College and Danielle Gammon of Virginia State University. During the awards ceremony, the Lady Vikings received their 2008-09 championship plaque while Bowie State was awarded the runner-up plaque and Virginia State accepted its third-place plaque. The championships were held from March 21-23, 2009.