Lampkin Sisters’ Combined Skills Key to Merrimack Bowling Success

The twins transferred to Merrimack for the bowling team's inaugural season in 2022 and have played a significant role in shaping the program's success and culture.
Portrait of the Lampkin sisters.

For years, twin sisters Olivia and JaZelle Lampkin, both members of the Class of 2024, have been told if they combined their bowling styles and skills into one person, it would create a near-perfect bowler.

But separately Olivia’s power and JaZelle’s precision have been integral to the No. 16 Merrimack College women’s bowling team’s historic run to the 2024 NCAA Championships in April.

“It was really intense,” Olivia, a rehabilitation sciences major, said of the Warriors’ Northeast Conference tournament win that punched their ticket to the NCAAs. “As a team, we are trying to push ourselves and in the last month and a half things have really clicked.”

Merrimack went undefeated in the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed, but Olivia noted that by winning every round, sweeping opponents and racking up scores in the 1,100s, the Warriors’ conference championship is no fluke. And for their performances in the NEC tournament, both Olivia and JaZelle were voted to the All-Tournament Team, while JaZelle was named NEC Tournament MVP.

The Lampkins have been participating in bowling leagues since they were 5 years old, learning the sport from their father Larry as well as their maternal grandfather. While they played other sports as kids, bowling stuck.

“I’ve always enjoyed the team aspect of bowling,” said JaZelle, a psychology major. “There is always someone to talk to whether you are at practice or out on campus.”

The pair transferred to Merrimack to be part of the program’s first team in 2022. They, along with teammate Cassidy Anschutz ’24, previously played together at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, but opted to come to North Andover to bowl for head coach Jalen Scott-Jones.

“We know what he wants to establish here and what he wants for the future of bowling in the area,” JaZelle said.

As the team prepares for what will be the College’s first non-hockey Division I NCAA tournament, Olivia said the plan is to focus on the big picture rather than try to fine-tune specifics.

“We are just going to keep doing what we are doing,” Olivia said. “I know a lot of teams, they want to make a big push in terms of preparation before the tournament. But we are just going to take our time as a team. Because if we aren’t comfortable as a team, then we won’t succeed.”

The team is extra motivated to continue this season for as long as possible as it is the final season of collegiate bowling for Olivia, who is graduating in the spring and not returning to Merrimack.


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