Another medal finish for Stevenson senior Rudy
ROCKFORD -- Stevenson's Kaitlyn Rudy repeated the feat.
Picking up a girls bowling state medal for a second straight year, that is.
Rudy finished 12th in the state tournament Saturday at Cherry Bowl, coming up with a strong finish over her last three games -- 233, 215 and 201 for a 644.
The senior finished with a two-day, 12-game total of 2,617. Buffalo Grove's Jessica Soskich was the tournament champion with 2,749.
Joliet West rolled to the team championship with a team total of 12,613 pins, followed by Freeport (12,476) and Lockport (12,398). Warren ended up in 12th place (11,392).
Rudy earned third place last year before claiming the final available medal Saturday. It was tight down the stretch, as 19 bowlers were battling for 10 medals, with a spread of just 87 pins.
"I was taking it one frame at a time and wanted to make my last year count," Rudy said. "I really wanted to medal one last time. It's hard to come off third place and live off of that. In the afternoon, I came back and did everything I could to do it."
Rudy has decided on rolling next year at Wichita State University.
"I have accomplished a lot and I know my bowling isn't done, with going to college," she said. "It's my dream to go there, and it has one of the best coaching programs. I just want to get better."
One of the best parts of Rudy's game is her heart and determination.
"You just have to want it," Rudy said. "You can't like missing a pin, or let leaving a split get into your head. Because hanging on isn't enough. I just say to myself, 'Keep on keeping it on.' Because, even though you're hanging on by a thread, it may not be enough."
Warren's Taylor Rossi finished in 16th place (2,583). She started the day with a 646 series and had a 564 for the afternoon.
Aurora University-bound Emma Devellis of Libertyville rolled to 27th place (2,520) and Libertyville's Taylor Sloan placed 38th (2,485).
Warren reached the second day of competition for the first time in 12 years. The Blue Devils stayed on track and learned from the experience.
"We tried to keep bowling as a team and keep up as long as we could," Warren coach KC Lange said. "What they get out of this is that they grow from coming here. You made it, and you competed all the way for the entire state series -- and got better every week."
The other Blue Devils bowlers included Victoria Dizon (2,246), Hayley Gregerson (2,226), Megan Martin (2,020), Macayla Powers (2,014), Maggie Faji (159, 1 game) and Sumarie McGee (144, 1 game).