March 23, 2010

Courtesy of NTCA

HOWELL, N.J. – In one of the closest national polls ever conducted by the National Tenpins Coaches Association, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore has been ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation. UMES edged last month’s top ranked team, Vanderbilt University, by a mere six points (566 to 560). Both prominent programs received eight first place votes.

Since the last NTCA poll, UMES of Princess Anne, MD has been soaring. The Hawks (93-26) won tournament titles at the 19-team Bowie State Invitational in Laurel, MD and the 28-team Kutztown Invitational in Reading, PA, finished third at the 26-team Morgan State Invitational in Perry Hall, MD, and closed the month with a second-place finish at the 12-team Holiday Collegiate Classic in Bessemer, AL.

Vanderbilt of Nashville, TN slipped to No. 2 after a ninth place finish at the Kutztown Invitational and a fourth place finish at the Holiday Collegiate Classic. The Commodores (46-20) hope to return to form at the 12-team ECAC Championship in Howell, NJ.

Climbing a spot to third place was Fairleigh Dickinson University of Teaneck, NJ. FDU (60-25) garnished three first place votes after second place finishes in Reading, PA and Perry Hall, MD. The Knights, who ended the NEC regular season in fifth place, will play host this weekend in Howell, NJ.

The University of Nebraska of Lincoln, NE jumped four spots to fourth place, receiving two first place votes. The defending national champions had an outstanding February. The Huskers (61-25) entered three events during that span and they won them all. Tournament titles at the 8-team Fontbonne Classic in Shrewsbury, MO, the Morgan State Invitational, and the Holiday Collegiate Classic, give Nebraska four tournament wins this season.

Ranked in fifth place was Delaware State University of Dover, DE. The Hornets (81-24) had an up and down month, which included a seventh place finish at the Kutztown Invitational, an eighth place finish at the Morgan State Invitational, and third place finishes at the Mid-Winter Classic in Little Rock, AR and the Capital Classic in Dover, DE.

Dropping one spot to sixth and seventh, respectively, were the University of Central Missouri (64-31) of Warrensburg, MO and Arkansas State University (48-21) of Jonesboro, AR. Moving up a spot to eighth was New Jersey City University (60-26) of Jersey City, NJ. Sinking a couple of places to ninth was Adelphi University (72-38) of Garden City, NY. Climbing up to No. 10 was first-year program Valparaiso University (60-39) of Valparaiso, IN.