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The Suburbanite
  • Lady Blue Streaks roll into second half of season

  • Bowling is a sport whose outcome depends heavily on breaks. A pin missing or hitting another by one millimeter makes the difference between a strike and a near-miss.

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  • Bowling is a sport whose outcome depends heavily on breaks. A pin missing or hitting another by one millimeter makes the difference between a strike and a near-miss.
    The Lake varsity girls bowling team hasn’t caught many breaks through the first half of the season, but the Blue Streaks have found a way to stay close to .500 and overcome a relative lack of experience on a roster with just one senior, two juniors and one player with more than two seasons of high school experience.
    At the halfway mark in Federal League play, the Blue Streaks sit at 4-5 overall and 2-4 in league competitions. One of their losses came to Perry, a state qualifier last season and a 6-0 team in league play so far this year, and another came to fellow state qualifier Jackson. The margins of defeat (35 pins against Perry and 12 against Jackson) were slim, giving head coach Pat King hope that his young team will be able to notch a program-building win against one or both of those opponents in the second round of league play.
    Another loss came to Hoover, which had a record-setting day to turn away the Blue Streaks.
    “We started out with the tough Federal League schedule. It’s one of the tougher leagues around, and we only have about six girls who have a lot of bowling experience,” Pat King said. “More than half of them are first-time players.”
    The Blue Streaks earned their first league win against Boardman, and throughout the first half of the season, junior Robyn King has led the way. In her third season for varsity bowling, King has a per-game average of 193.4 to lead the team and with a high game of 235. She has been Lake's most consistent competitor on the lanes.
    “Robyn works hard on her game year round and has bowled since she was 6 or 7,” Pat King said. “She goes to tournaments across the state of Ohio and in Pennsylvania. She has developed good understanding of lane conditions and she is always trying to help her teammates understand the game, maybe how to line up for a spare.”
    Sophomore Ashlyn Rembiesa is second on the team with a 187.7 average, followed by junior Kari Snyder (169.2) and freshman Erin King (160).
    While beating the top teams in the area is a goal, Pat King also wants his team to remember to enjoy the experience and work on improving their own game rather than judging themselves solely by whether they defeat an opponent such as Jackson or Perry.
    “Our goal is just a little better than average every night, just go out there every night and have fun,” he said.
    The atmosphere around girls’ bowling helps, King explained, because it is similar to that of fastpitch softball, where cheers and chants from the bench during games are virtually nonstop. Support from parents also helps, and so will a chance to break from league competition with a post-Christmas tournament at Midway Lanes and a New Year’s Eve tournament at their home venue, Park Center Lanes.
    Page 2 of 2 - In his first year as head coach after serving as a volunteer coach last season, King and assistant coach Mike Hooper are working not only to help the varsity team reach its goals for the season, but also to develop an extremely raw and inexperienced junior varsity squad that will be the next wave of bowlers for varsity.
    Last season’s 11-10 final record and 4-8 mark in Federal League play are both within reach, and after setting a school record with a score of 2,748 in a match against Carrollton earlier this season, there is reason to believe better results are ahead. Even though the Blue Streaks lost the match by 17 pins, they were able to best their previous school best by 256 pins.
    Playing in two holiday tournaments should help in both the short- and long-term, as such environments are more similar to what the Blue Streaks will face once the postseason begins. Before then, they will return to league competition with a match against Jackson on Jan. 14.
    “Once we get that first win against a top team, that’s going to be huge,” King said. “The girls are just starting to believe they can do it. They are beginning to see, ‘Hey, we can score with traditionally some of the best teams in the area.’ ”
    Armed with that growing confidence, the Blue Streaks are hoping to roll into 2013 and take another large step forward as a program to reach the upper echelon of the Federal League.