Girls bowling: Schaumburg sets state record, rolls to sectional title
It was a record-setting day for Schaumburg's girls bowling team at Poplar Creek Bowl Saturday.
The Saxons shot the best team game score in IHSA history, a 1,252, on the biggest stage at the Hoffman Estates sectional.
That mark, and a 6-game series of 1,352 from Kylie Frick (second overall), saw Schaumburg win the sectional and advance to the state finals next weekend at Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
"In the moment it felt pretty insane," said Saxons senior Evelina Kozyra, who contributed to the chartbusting score by shooting 231 as Schaumburg did it right out of the gate in the opening game of the day.
"We didn't think that we could ever do that," added Kozyra, "but obviously we could. Every year we've been progressing as a team together and it was a great way to finish out. It was just a surreal moment."
Kylie Frick (279), Gina Lenoci (278) Haylie Frick (244), and Lily Meck (220) all counted scores to break the old record of 1,246, which was set by Hoffman Estates in 2006.
Schaumburg amazingly had only one open frame among the five bowlers.
"It just came down to how much this team has committed to getting better," said Saxons coach John Slavich. "They've battled all year, they've worked on some things and they're peaking at the right time. Hopefully they can carry it on for one more week."
Schaumburg's total team score of 5,914 saw the Saxons win going away. Antioch (5,303) was second and Grant (5,194) finished third.
The final team to advance to Rockford was Buffalo Grove, and the qualification announcement at the awards ceremony set off a wild celebration for the Bison and their supporters.
"Totally amazing," said BG senior Maddie Schanke. "At this point I still can't believe it. It just feels great to be going (to Rockford) along with my teammates. This was a total team effort, everybody came together and supported each other."
"We started feeling the moment, that this performance was going to take us to the state tournament," said Bison coach Chris VanGrondelle. "We're a young team and haven't gone through something like this before, but we built up a cushion through the first five games today and that got us through."
Jasmine McKeel of Wauconda won individual honors by rolling a 1,377 -- just ahead of Kylie Frick, who fired a clutch 289 in the sixth game to almost overtake McKeel.
Jenica Baron of Barrington (1,246, 278 game) finished third individually to punch her ticket to Rockford, while Conant sophomore Jemma Skweres also advanced, shooting 1,194 to finish sixth overall.
"I have to thank my coaches for helping me make it to state," said Skweres. "I'm just sad that we weren't able to advance as a team. My teammates are the ones who helped me get through and it was just a great season.
"I improved my form and tried to be more consistent this year," added the sophomore, who had a top game of 248. "I really thought our team was going to make it (the Cougars finished fifth, just 83 pins behind BG.) They're my family. It's going to be a great experience (at Cherry Bowl) but I wish they all were going with me."
Although not qualifying for Rockford, Savannah Peters from Rolling Meadows excelled by rolling a 245 game and 1,135 series; as did Emilie St. Clair of Hoffman (1,079) and Elizabeth White from Conant (1,073).,
BG was led by Rebecca Howard (1,184), Sara Clay (1,094), and Schanke (965).
"We're going to go kill it," said Schanke of the trip to the state tournament. "No matter what happens and no matter what the outcome is, we're going to be happy."
For the victorious Saxons, Haylie Frick finished fifth individually by shooting a 1,210 series; Lenoci was seventh overall at 1,186; while Kozyra placed ninth with a 1,177.
"We've become closer as a team this year," said Kozyra. "We always support each other and I think that's what made us get to this point. Honestly, last year we got third in state so we're setting the bar pretty high for ourselves this time."