David Campbell/University Photographer
The 2022 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) bowling championship returned to Alabama State University after the Hornets’ 4-3 win over the Southern University Jaguars during the SWAC championship game on March 27 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
After going 92-47 overall and 19-9 versus SWAC opponents in the regular season, the Hornets entered the SWAC Tournament as the second seed, behind Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University (24-4 SWAC).
The Hornets finished 7-1 during the SWAC tournament. In the first two rounds, they faced off against the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Rattlers and the Prairie View A&M Panthers. They beat the Rattlers in five games and the Panthers in seven to advance to the finals.
Southern took the lead in the first game of the series (178-152) and the Hornets responded with a 177-171 win in game two, tying the series up at one apiece. Both teams went back and forth, leading to the final game seven. Despite some close games throughout the series, the Hornets pounced on the Jaguars in the final game, routing them in a 48-pin victory to secure the championship.
“This was a long time coming,” said head coach Andrew Chatmon while celebrating the big win with his team. “The girls really bought in and trusted one another. They committed to the process and just executed against Southern.”
With this win, the Hornets bring their first SWAC championship home since the 2017-18 season. They will face off against Vanderbilt University Commodores in the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Bowling National Tournament on April 8 at 9 a.m. in Lansing, Michigan.
Several students expressed their joy in the team’s win after bringing the trophy back to campus.
Alissa Logan, a sophomore psychology major, congratulated the team.
“I think it is truly impressive,” said the Detroit Michigan native. “Their team is not talked about enough and we need to start showing them more support. Congratulations to them!”
Sophomore Business Administration Kiara Jackson shared similar feelings, saying, “I think they worked hard and played hard. Based on their record, they deserved to win and I am proud of them.”
Other students mentioned how the win could give the team and the school more exposure.
“I think it is great. I watch bowling myself and I find it a very fun and intriguing game,” said Senior Radio/Television Communications major Montaz Dennis. “To see our own university win a championship, which is something a lot of schools, especially HBCUs, do not get a lot of notoriety for, is a really great thing to see.”
Sophomore E’shawn Mayes spoke on the exposure that the win would give the team and school as well. “ We have not won a championship as a school all year, so for the bowling team to be able to do that is special. It can bring more production for the team and the school as well,” said the Communications Studies major.
“I am proud of the girls. I have always known we had a decent bowling team and I try to support them in any way I can,” said junior English education major Kirk Davis. “I think this win can grow the team and help the team be even better.”