Girls bowling ends playoff run in Staten Island again

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Staten Island has housed the end of four consecutive playoffs for the girls varsity bowling team. The past three years, Tottenville High School had ended the girls’ seasons, but this year, Petrides, seeded third in the division, ousted the Lady Hawks, who were only ranked fourteenth. After making the one and a half hour trip to Staten Island, the girls lost their quarterfinal playoff match, two games to none.

Following a first round victory against Bayside High School, the team knew that they would be facing Petrides in the next round. Senior captain Morgan Wu said, “When our coach told us who we would be facing, it was disappointing to hear.”

Leading into the game, Morgan described the team as “really apprehensive.” She stated, “We knew it would be really hard to win, but we wanted to try anyway.”

Coach Maria Assante was impressed with her team’s outlook heading into the match, “The girls had a good attitude: they were positive and optimistic, but also realistic.”

Having done her research for the Petrides match, Coach Assante knew that while their A team would prove a challenge, the B team would be more “beatable.” Coach Assante expected more from her A Team after they lost the first game in the Bayside matchup.

Game A was bowled by seniors Ellen Huynh, Jamie Pfeiffer, Morgan Wu, and Rebecca Lee.  After totaling 468 points against Bayside, the girls bowled a collective score of  527 against Petrides. All members of the A team bowled scores of over 100 and Jamie bowled a career-playoff high score of 162. However, Petrides would score 730 points to secure the victory.

One Petrides bowler bowled a “turkey”, which is three strikes in a row, while another Petrides bowler bowled two “turkeys” with a spare in between. Petrides junior Amber Morone bowled a score of 213, while the lowest score for Petrides in Game A was 164.

Junior Radhika Patel said, “The A team did the best they ever did, but the B team was psyched out by the environment of the bowling alley.” Bowling at the Rab’s Country  Lanes, Petrides had a definite home-lane advantage as they were cheered on by a large contingent of fans.

“They have a big support system and they have a lot of confidence,” noted Coach Assante.

Freshman Adriana Allen, sophomore Cindy Lin and seniors Mahwish Waseem and Veronica Nguyen bowled Game B for the Lady Hawks. Coming off of a stellar performance against Bayside, where their scores forced a decisive Game C, the girls were only able to score 301 points, with no girl posting a score of above 90. Petrides’ B team, despite being Petrides’ weakest link over the course of the season, after losing nine of their twelve games during the regular season, were still able to prevail with a score of 354.

Petrides chose not to bowl a Game C, which would only serve to allow more bowlers from each team to bowl and would not have any affect on Petrides’ win. Petrides now moves on to the semifinals where they will face sixth seeded Leon M. Goldstein High School in Brooklyn.

Despite the difficult loss, Coach Assante said, “I’m proud of my girls as always.”

Morgan said the apprehension got to the girls: “We’re usually able to shake it off though, but it was tougher this game.”

    The top three seeds in this year’s playoffs are all Staten Island teams and the past three girls bowling champions have been from Staten Island. Staten Island teams pose a challenge that Hawks have yet to be able to figure out and based on the past four years, the path to the championship goes through Staten Island.

Radhika noticed that Petrides “is more competitive and takes the sport much more seriously than the other teams we played.”

Overall, Coach Assante was very happy with how the season went. “We lost so many seniors last season and the girls really stepped it up. They exceeded my expectations.”

Traveling to Staten Island, the girls had the opportunity to spend time together while on their way to and from the game. Not to far off Hylan Boulevard, the team spotted a large group of wild turkeys, which was ironic given Petrides’ three turkeys during Game A. As Coach Assante pointed out, the most important thing was that the girls had fun and were able to have a good attitude even when facing off against such a fierce opponent.

Mahwish said, “Overall it was a great season and I’m glad to have met all of the new underclassmen because they are really some of the nicest people. Bowling has been a great experience and I’m really glad to have been part of the team.”

The girls varsity bowling team is a perennial playoff team that has espoused creating a friendly and fostering environment. Coach Assante and the girls have all the makings of a great team, but the Staten Island teams remain their kryptonite.