Girls bowling: Schaumburg completes another successful run at state

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent

The stellar careers of five Schaumburg seniors came to a conclusion Saturday, fittingly, at the girls state bowling championship tourney in Rockford.

Gina Lenoci, Kylie Frick, Taylor Davis, Evelina Kozyra and Cassidy Leno have made 16 state appearances collectively in the last four seasons, leading the Saxons each time to a team qualification.

And although they didn't get the finish they wanted this year -- the Saxons had high hopes for a state title but ultimately finished seventh -- they've all left a legacy for Schaumburg bowling that will be hard to top.

"Every year we've wanted to reach our goals and do the best we could," said Frick. "Our teams have changed a bit over the years and we've had to deal with some adversity, but team bonding has never been an issue and that's why we're all struggling to say goodbye today."

Lenoci saved her best performance for last, leading the Saxons this time around with a 2,455 total pinfall, seven games over 200 (a top of 238) in finishing 13th individually.

Davis rolled a 236 game in 2018 to lead Schaumburg to a third place team placement, while Kozyra's 231 at this season's sectional tourney helped her team set a state mark for top game ever recorded in IHSA history, a 1,252.

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Frick, meanwhile, was a two-time Mid-Suburban League champion, won regional medalist honors twice and was victorious as a junior in the Buffalo Grove sectional, and two times posted seventh-place state individual finishes.

In her initial year in Rockford at Cherry Bowl as a freshman, Frick held the tourney lead after Day 1.

In the state meet Chair Division, Elk Grove had two bowlers finish second and third individually.

Natalia Villegas of the Grens took the runner-up medal with a one-day total of 662, while Sonia Sanchez-Corrillo won the third place medal.

"I never thought I'd be able to make it all the way to state this year," said Villegas, a freshman. "I did get a little tired today (in the afternoon session), but I got some energy back and that helped get me through."

"This was really awesome," said Elk Grove coach Robert Ray. "Natalia came to our team right after the first of the year and she's done very well for us. I think she's caught the bowling fever."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Back in the championship division, Jemma Skweres of Conant followed up her spectacular performance Friday with another solid showing on Saturday.

Skweres fired games of 248 and 201 in the morning at Cherry Bowl and at one point was fourth overall, and started out the afternoon session with 215 to ultimately place 15th with a two-day total of 2,435.

Downstate O'Fallon won its first team title. Rebecca Hagerman of Machesney Park Harlem took her second-straight individual crown while Rebecca Howard of Buffalo Grove, a junior, moved all the way up to 22nd position Saturday, rolling two games of 224.

"I feel like I was pretty consistent today," said Howard, in her second appearance at state. "I felt pretty confident about what I was doing all weekend.

"Going into to next season I need to work on not chopping the 6-pin," added the junior. "Just get my ball out more and be more consistent -- but that'll develop over time. With the practice I'm going to have between now and next season, it gives me time to work on the little things."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For the Saxons on Saturday, sophomore Haylie Frick shot a 269 game, while junior Lily Meck rolled a 213.

"These girls are amazing," said Kylie Frick, who will head to Tulane University in the fall to compete on the Green Wave bowling team and study on a pre-med track, of her teammates.

"I wouldn't trade them for anything. We're so close and I think that's why we're so successful. We didn't do what we're capable of this year, but I'm going to miss everyone so much next year.

"I'm just so blessed that I was able to bowl with this team and have the success that we've had, and achieve the goals that we've accomplished. This team is just awesome."

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