Girls bowling; Schaumburg picks up where it left off
It may have been the first tournament of the season, but Schaumburg already appears to be in midseason form.
On a day where the pins just didn't seem to be falling for most teams, the Saxons' girls bowling team -- Mid-Suburban League champs and third at state last year -- posted a 6-game mark of 5,379 to win their own invitational Saturday.
South Elgin (5,244) was second while Joliet West (5,241) took third in the tourney held at Poplar Creek Bowl.
"The lanes were tougher today. We struggled as everyone did," said Schaumburg coach John Slavik. "But our team was able to grind it out and that was nice to see.
"Our kids, because they finished third in state last year, are still hungry. They want to win state. We're working on a lot of different things and we're changing some things up. We want to make sure that if we get to state we'll be ready."
Saxons senior Kylie Frick, who has already been to the state finals in Rockford three times and has finished seventh overall twice, took individual medalist honors.
Frick's total of 1,254, a 209 average on the afternoon, bested runner-up Emily Tournabene of Lake Park by 33 pins.
"It's kind of crazy," said Frick of the fact that she's starting her senior campaign. "I was just looking back at some pictures of my first meet as a freshman, and now that I'm here at the first tournament of my senior season, I feel so lucky to be able to bowl with my sister (Haylie) and a bunch of other girls who are really amazing."
Hoffman Estates senior Emilie St. Clair finished fourth individually with a pinfall of 1,179.
"It was a little emotional today because it's my last first invite here at Poplar," said St. Clair, "but other than it was exciting to come in here and compete.
"My start today was OK -- I felt like I did much better in the second half when I just got things out of my head, and decided just to do what I could do to help myself do better."
Junior Jenny Kang put up the top mark for Fremd at the invitational, posting an 810.
"It was a pretty good day today," said Kang, who is in her second season on varsity and is now the Vikings' anchor bowler. "I feel like there's a little more pressure this year, but I've got a great team by my side and we get along really well. We're out here to have fun and we all feel like we should just enjoy the moment.
"Bowling anchor does have more pressure so it does give me a little bit of anxiety, but it's also a lot of fun and I enjoy it. I've been hitting my marks and have been pretty consistent with my spares."
Maria Vasquez shot 707 for Fremd, while Elena Falkiner fired a 706 for Wheeling.
Evelyn Torres had the top score for Palatine, a 699, while Schaumburg's winning effort saw marks of 977 from Gina Lenoci, 918 by Haylie Frick, and 777 from Taylor Davis.
Lily Meck added a 756 for the Saxons.
"We know how much we're capable of," said Kylie Frick. "We have so much potential -- we're still trying to work on spares but we're excited because we have high hopes for this season.
"I'm trying to be as much of a leader as I can. I've been bowling with these girls for four years now and we've become incredibly close. We can all feed off each other, we help each other grow and we help pick each other up."
Senior Colleen Golliher rolled an 846 for Hoffman Estates while teammate Jessica Donovan, a junior, finished at 823.
"It was a learning experience today," said Hawks coach Dan Pfligler. "I graduated three seniors and lost one player to a move over the summer, so we've got some things to improve on, but I've seen great improvement so far from our team.
"I challenged them today in the afternoon to keep every score above 800 and they did that, so we're going to keep the challenges going and see how the year plays out as we move on."