Norfolk, Va. (Mar. 2, 2017) --- Delaware State was 5-0 in traditional matches on the opening day of the 2017 MEAC Bowling Tournament, but the Hornets will be seeded third in the Baker competition beginning Saturday that will determine the league champion.

The eight-team field competed in five traditional games today to determine seeding for the championship tournament.  Seedings were based on Friday’s total pinfall.

The Hornets had the third-best a total pinfall of 4,708, trailing Maryland-Eastern Shore (4,887) and North Carolina A&T (4,713).

In today’s regular team games, the Hornets defeated Bethune-Cookman (896-773), Florida A&M (988-957), Norfolk State (943-874), NCA&T (951-931) and Morgan State (930-790).

Chelsey Merklinger (jr.) was Delaware State’s top individual performer with a total pinfall of 1037 in five games (207.4 avg.). Freshman Alexis Neuer, the 2016-17 MEAC Co-Rookie-of-the-Year, was second on the Hornets with a total pinfall of 993 in five games (198.6 avg.).

Third-seeded Delaware State will face No. 6 Morgan State in the opening round of Saturday’s Baker competition.

The winner will face either No. 2 NCA&T or No. 7 Florida A&M in the semifinals of the double-elimination bracket play.

The other side of the bracket has No. 1 MDES facing No. 8 Bethune-Cookman and No. 4 Norfolk State battling No. 5 Howard.

From there, the teams will advance through a pair of double-elimination brackets in order to determine the two teams that will meet in Sunday’s championship match. Matches on Saturday are also scheduled for 10:40 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. (if necessary).

The 2017 MEAC Bowling Championship wraps up on Sunday with the championship final at 12 p.m. The championship match will be televised via tape-delay on ESPNU on Sunday, April 2 at 9 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public.

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