Dover, Del. (March 23, 2017—Delaware State’s quest for a second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference bowling championship gets underway tomorrow. The  2017 MEAC Bowling Championship is set for March 24-26, at the AMF Chesapeake Lanes in Chesapeake, Va.

Delaware State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Howard and Morgan State qualified for the tournament out of the Northern Division, while North Carolina A&T State, Norfolk State, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman earned championship slots from the Southern Division.  

The defending MEAC Tournament champion Hornets clinched the Northern Division regular-season title by virtue of a 20-4 mark in conference play – edging Maryland Eastern Shore by one game in the standings. Delaware State, ranked ninth in the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) Poll, are a MEAC-best 62-23 overall.’

The Hornets are led by 2016-17 MEAC Co-Rookie of the Year Alexis Neuer, who is tops on the team and among the conference leaders with a nearly 198 average. Neuer has also qualified for the 2017 USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championship after finishing third out of 196 bowlers in the sectional competition.

All-MEAC 2016-17 First Team selection Elizabeth Burkholder (jr.) and Third Team honoree Chelsey Merklinger (jr.) will also lead the Hornets during this weekend’s MEAC Tournament.

Maryland Eastern Shore is just ahead of DSU at No. 8 in the latest NTCA poll.

A second straight MEAC Tournament championship would give a boost to Delaware State’s chances for a third appearance in the eight-team NCAA Tournament in team history. The Hornets earned NCAA championship bids in 2009 & 2010 after winning the MEAC title each year.  

North Carolina A&T State finished atop the Southern Division for the second straight season with a 14-4 conference record, finishing a game ahead of Norfolk State. Both North Carolina A&T State (No. 18) and Norfolk State (No. 22) are also ranked in the most recent NTCA Coaches Poll.

Only the top four teams from each division are eligible to compete in the championship tournament. Coppin State (1-23 MEAC) was eliminated from postseason play.

The tournament begins on Friday with a qualifying round of traditional play to determine seeding. The action continues on Saturday with teams competing in a best-of-seven Baker series in a bracket format.

The 2017 MEAC Bowling Championship will conclude on Sunday with the championship final at 12 p.m. The championship final will air via tape-delay on ESPNU on Sunday, April 2 at 9 p.m.

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This story contains information from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

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