The Girls Bowling team has just started its season but there is already much reason for excitement. With considerable success last season after reaching state and placing 14th in the entire state, there are many expectations for the team to continue going upward with their results.
Many of the players from last year were underclassmen and are now playing again in what may end up being a defining season for the varsity team. Assistant Coach Shane Cole said, “Last year was successful. The varsity team was very good. I think that for those varsity kids, their expectations should be the same. The expectations are high, no doubt.”
However, the high expectations are not phasing many of the players as they all have experience at this level whether it be last year or with matches outside of school competitions. Talking about the strong squad Varsity Coach Rob Schader said, “Valentina Pizzoferrato is back. Grace Cannizzo is back. Valentina has got a freshman sister Coco Pizzaferrato who’s a really good bowler. We’ve got Amelia Leslie who is back as a junior. All three of them plus Angelina Ayala … bowl on the varsity.”
The varsity and JV teams also benefit from having small groups of people to connect with over the season and build chemistry throughout their matches. “We have six girls bowl for conference matches for varsity and six for jv. Twelve girls at any given time can bowl,” said Schader. “You can switch them out from game to game. You bowl three games in a conference match and then you actually bowl six games in a tournament.”
The Girls Team’s road to a second successive year at state is not an easy task. They are in a very strong league. “The league is good. We combined with the west suburban silver. York is going to be good, Willowbrook is going to be good again, and Leyden is always good. It will be tough,” said Cole.
The atmosphere of the bowling tournaments is also a sight to behold and unlike any other sport played at AT. “Some of the tournaments they bring bleachers for the fans to sit in. They bring in actually like six to seven rows of bleachers and they are sitting right behind you,” said Cole. “The parents are cheering with the kids. I mean, it’s a noisy experience. Some of it gets so crowded that the parents bring periscopes. They have a little box periscope so they can see their kid’s ball when it goes down the lane if they’re standing in a big crowd.”
Consistency with high scores is also a significant goal for the team as the members of the varsity are chosen by their scores throughout the season. “For varsity, it is definitely based off their scores … last year we had six girls so there was a little bit of competition which is nice. Made it a little bit more challenging for them to bowl on a daily basis or in matches,” said Schader.