Fremd sophomore Jenny Kang knew her team would need a big Game 6 to advance out of Saturday's regional tournament at Brunswick Zone Deer Park Lanes.
"We had to do our best to get as many pins as possible," said Kang. "Even if you got a split, pick up the two or the one, and support each other the entire way."
The Vikings came through in that last game of day, posting a 962 to finish fourth and earn the final qualification to next Saturday's Buffalo Grove sectional.
Hoffman Estates won the regional with as score of 5,926, as junior Alexis Orwat earned the second-place individual medal with a 6-game series of 1,325 (high game of 267).
"My teammates were excellent today," said Orwat. "They did what they had to do to get us to where we are right now."
"They worked hard, and they bowled as a team," said Hoffman coach Dan Pfligler. "We came out with a 994 and went from there.
"They just ran with it, picked each other up, and were cheering each other on the whole time. Once the marks start rolling it's contagious, and we ended up getting some strings of strikes."
Mid-Suburban League champion Schaumburg (5,692) finished second at Deer Park to advance, with Kylie Frick winning individual honors with top games of 253, 246 and 246 enroute to a 1,383 series. Gina Lenoci of the Saxons rolled an 1,138 including games of 213, 205 and 201.
Regional host Lake Zurich took third place to qualify, with senior Allison O'Hara rolling the second-best game of the day, a 278.
"I consistently hit my marks," said O'Hara, a senior. "It was pretty exciting, my highest game before this was a 268."
"We thought we would do the best in the second half (of the tourney)," said O'Hara. "We were trying to keep our energy up. We just kept doing well and kept feeding off each other."
Conant finished fifth and was led by two sohpomores, Elizabeth White and Cassie Hyland. White shot an 1,176 with a top game of 240.
"We didn't know where we would end up (in the standings) today, but we wanted to make this our best day," said White. "Especially for our seniors -- we wanted to bowl our best for them."
Hyland fired a 225 first game, finishing with 1,143.
"We had a lot of positivity going in," said Hyland. "I was happy to get my head in the right frame of mind. I've been working hard all season on hitting my mark, getting strikes, and picking up all my spares.
"Our team has a really close bond -- we're all like sisters."
The Cougars fell just short of a team advancement, but Hyland and White will move on to the Buffalo Grove sectional as individual competitors, as will teammate Jemma Skweres (1,157).
Other qualifying individuals were Rebecca Howard of Buffalo Grove, who earned the fourth-place medal with a 1241 series (288 game, best of the day), and Jamie Knutsen of Elk Grove (1,226, 255).
Also moving on will be Jenica Baron from Barrington (1,214), Sarah Lippstreuer (1,139) and Annie Durava (1,128) of Hersey, Prospect's Elise Heinze (1136) and Ashley Szull of the Grenadiers (1,098).
For Hoffman's winning effort, Kelly Paradowski (1,170, 226), Emilie St. Clair (1,168, 211), and Allura Magsino (1,145, 226) all excelled.
Fremd's strong performance was paced by senior Piper Miles, who won the third-place medal with games of 258 and 246 (1,244 series).
"It's amazing," said Miles of the Vikings advancement. "It's really nice to be going with my team."
Talking about her 258 game, Miles said that it was "really stressful."
"I would go up, and I have this thing that I need to work on where it's a firm pushout and a relaxed arm swing, and every time I went up that's what was going through my head."
"We've been doing very well the last few weeks and to actually make it through was awesome."
Isaly Schaffner (1,179), Hannah Evenson (1,040), Maria Vazquez (1,005) and Kang (966) all counted scores for the Vikings.
"It feels amazing that this is the first year we're going to sectionals as a team," said Kang. "I wasn't sure that we'd be able to get this far but I'm really proud that we all pushed through."