Buffalo Grove reveled in its best performance of the year at Wednesday's Mid-Suburban League girls bowling meet.
And they were led by a bowler who just took up the sport last season. And this same girl has only been in the U.S. for three short years.
Bison sophomore Valeria Karneevich opened the final game with four strikes and didn't miss a mark enroute to a 220 as BG defeated Barrington 9-0.
Karneevich and her family are emigres from Gomel, Belarus, where the soph said she played a variety of sports.
"Wrestling, tennis, swimming, karate, volleyball -- and I miss them all," said Karneevich, who does still compete on the tennis team at BG in addition to bowling, which is fairly new to her.
Still, Bison coach Jean Tripam sees a lot of potential.
"She's a great kid," said Tripam. "I hope she stays committed to the sport, and I know she's giving it all she has."
Karneevich says she's enjoying a "great education" in the states, but hopes to return to Russia some day.
"It's so different here," said Karneevich. "The people, the food, everything."
But for now, Tripam and the rest of the BG team will relish having the sophomore on the team, despite the occasional communication gap.
"It can be a little comical," said the coach. "For example, earlier in the week we had a match (against Vernon Hills), and I told the kids we'd be wearing our t-shirts instead of our jerseys.
"But Valeria still showed up in her jersey, and when I asked her why, she said she didn't understand -- because she had never heard the term 't-shirt' before."
But there's one thing the sophomore does understand, and that's getting a victory as the Bison did Wednesday at Arlington Lanes.
"It's good," said Karneevich, matter-of-factly, "that we won."
Junior Anna Haller pitched in with a 211 game for the Bison, while Prospect junior Nicole Cusack rolled games of 217 and 204 in the Knights 2,670 pin to 2,666 win over Palatine.
Anna Lessner led the Pirates with a 609 series (237 game), while another junior, Sarah Wille of Hoffman Estates, fired a 257 game (615 series) in the Hawks' win over Fremd.
Schaumburg won over Hersey as Danielle Yohe scored a 221 in the first game and Shannon Maiers rolled a 206 game three; while Rolling Meadows defeated Wheeling as Caitlyn Wooten bowled a 224.
Other scores of note on the evening included a 246 game from Hoffman's Brandy Hoglund and a 223 by Katelynn Bieber of Prospect; while in the feature match of the night, Elk Grove moved into first place in the MSL by defeating former leader Conant 7-2.
Cougars senior Courtney Slavich finished with a 600 series while Allison Peters led the Grens with three games over 200 (226, 203, 203) for a total series of 632.
Kayleigh Duff (216, 215 games) and Brooke Barges (225 game) contributed to Elk Grove's win.
"It's great to be in first," said Barges. "Now we've got to concentrate on bowling up to our averages the rest of the way and we'll be fine."