Warren's Rossi, Stevenson's Rudy meeting the state tourney challenge
ROCKFORD -- Kaitlyn Rudy of Stevenson is no stranger to competing against the best girls bowlers in the state.
She showed that last year, with a third-place finish in the state tournament.
And she only added to her reputation for bowling well under pressure during the first day of state competition at Cherry Bowl on Friday.
Rudy sits in fourth place with a 6-game total of 1,372, just 1 pin behind third-place Taylor Rossi of Warren.
Libertyville's top two bowlers, Emma Develis (1,260) and Taylor Sloan (1,214), both made the cut to bowl again on Saturday.
Schaumburg's Kylie Frick leads the tournament with a 1,432.
In the team competition, Warren reached the second day in 12th place after rolling 5,897.
Joliet West has the tournament lead after the first 6 games with 6,383, followed by Belvidere North (6,250) and Schaumburg (6,196). There will be 6 more games on Saturday.
Rudy started out rolling big games -- a 279 along with a 238 and a 203 for a personal best 720 series. Her other games included 220, 258 and a 174 in the afternoon.
"The biggest thing I was proud of was that I had 3 opens, and they were all splits," Rudy said. "When I got on it, I was just focused. Getting off to the good start, it really gets you zoned in. With the state so competitive, the adrenaline gets you going. You have to go with it or you can fall to the bottom. My goal this year is to beat what I did last year, numbers-wise."
Rossi also had a good day, finishing with a 1,373. She tossed a 704 for her first three games (256, 214 and 234). Then she added games of 235, 200 and 234 for a 669.
"I came here knowing it would be really tough, but I knew I had to be focused on my game and my team," Rossi said. "My opening series was up there. My lowest game was 200. I just was saying, 'One frame at a time, don't get ahead of myself,' and, 'One frame, and one ball.' I just wanted to give it my all."
Warren got the 12th team placement by just 8 pins, and it took a strong final game of 993 after a disappointing 879 in game 5.
"We're just surviving and advancing at this point," Warren coach KC Lange said. "That's really what it is. That last game we just had four opens. That's how we made it to Saturday. That's what the whole thing we were saying all day -- just spare your way to Saturday. When you make your spares, you give yourself a chance."
The other Blue Devils' bowlers included Victoria Dizon (1,186), Megan Martin (1,151), Macayla Powers (1,108) and Hayley Gregersen (1,079).
The Wildcats' Develis tossed a 266, 233 and 179 for an opening 678 series and followed up with 194, 173 and a 215 for a 582.
"It's a great finish to a senior year," Develis said. "I felt like I had some strong games and had a lot of confidence. My last game I thought I finished well."
Sloan also of Libertyville threw a 279 game, with her others 212 and 200 for a 691 series to start with. Then she shot a 512 over the last 3 games, just good enough to compete again Saturday.
"I think it was sweeter because I such a rough second half," Sloan said. "The good start really helped me out a lot. It was good to have the big game, too."