Marissa Allen was afraid, in her words, that she had "broken the lanes."
The Hersey junior and her teammates were bowling against Elk Grove on lane Nos. 21 and 22 Monday night at Arlington Lanes in the season's first Mid-Suburban League meet, and everything was going swimmingly -- until the middle of the second game.
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That's when an equipment malfunction caused a lengthy delay, right after Allen had thrown her ball.
The Huskies and Grens were then relegated to complete their match on lanes 39 and 40 -- at the far end of the alley, right next to the brick wall. But the relocation didn't shake up Allen or her teammates in the least.
"Some people find bowling in the far lane intimidating," said the junior, "but it doesn't bother me. Actually it takes away some of the distractions."
It all worked out for the best for Hersey as Allen fired a 219 in the final game, and along with Emma Wrenn's 581 series, it gave the Huskies a big 9-0 win over the three-time defending conference champion Grenadiers.
"My ball was the last to go through," said Allen, but odds are she's not going be charged a maintenance fee by Arlington Lanes.
As a matter of fact, it turned out to be one of the most promising starts to a Hersey season in years.
"There's such a positive energy around this team," said Allen. "We're crazy competitive,we're strong on spirit, and our teamwork really showed itself tonight -- especially in the second game where we won by 7 points.
"A lot of that has to do with Emma (Wrenn). She's a fantastic bowler."
Wrenn's top game was a 197, while teammates Kait Roscoe (476 series) and Zoe Sarbekian (469) made clutch contributions to the win as the Huskies posted a 2,496 overall pinfall.
"The girls have been working very well together," said Hersey coach Julie Arias. "They've been focusing on making their spares and their total pin count, and it paid off tonight."
• In other action, Hoffman Estates posted the top team score of the night (2,858) in a win over Barrington.
Jordyn Fera and Melyssa Donovan each recorded a series of 607 for the Hawks, while Sarah Tenyer of the Fillies rolled a 257 game.
• Palatine won against Wheeling as Stephanie Berber recorded a 223 game.
• Prospect's win over Conant was highlighted by a 578 series from Arie Upshaw.
• Fremd squeaked out a 5-4 decision over Rolling Meadows behind Gina Rowlett (557, 204).
• In the final match of the night, Schaumburg scored a close victory over Buffalo Grove as Shannon Maiers led the Saxons with a 538 series. Teammate Sarah Schwind posted a 521 and will be one of the bright spots for Schaumburg this season despite being only a sophomore.
"It's exciting being on varsity, and being able to showcase my skills," said Schwind, who's competing with the upperclassmen for the second consecutive year after making her mark as a frosh. "I feel like I'm more experienced and understand more of what's going on this season, and I've adjusted to this league. The great thing is, the girls all get along and I feel like we're going to be even better than last year."