On Saturday, November 16, Alma College’s Bowling Team made history at the BGSU Falcon Classic. With some standout performances and the overall team score, both the Varsity and JV team finished the tournament in first place.
This first-place finish for both teams at a tournament is a first for the program and an indication for the rest of the season to come as the Scots approach the halfway mark of their season.
“Out of the four years that I have been on this team, it is by far the best season that we’ve had. All of the girls on the team are believing in themselves and it is really starting to show on the lanes!” said senior Varsity bowler, Emma Davis (’20).
The Scots have competed in seven total tournaments this far in the season with the BGSU Falcon Tournament being the half-way mark. With dedication and time, the team has managed to not only set records, but have this season be the best start in the program’s history.
Head Bowling Coach Kyle Woodcock said, “The first 2 [tournaments] we struggled a little, but that’s to be expected. We had been working on a lot of things with many of the bowlers plus it was the first tournament for 4 of the bowlers. We finished 8th and 9th in those events. In the last 5 events, we have had 3 first place and 2 second place finishes. This is the best start in program history. We are currently ranked 15th in the Nation.”
With a start like this, the team is on its way to making more firsts and breaking more records for the program. This includes not only for the team, but the individual performances as well, which all aided in the team’s success on Saturday.
At the BGSU Falcon Classic, the team competed in 5 regular games as well as 12 Baker games. Baker games are played by 5 bowlers, where the first bowler bowls the first frame and then the 6th with the second bowler bowling second and seventh and so on until the last frame.
The team performed well to start and picked up speed to seal a win in the baker games.
“At the BGSU Falcon Classic, our team did great in the individual games putting us first in totals going into the baker games, but with Wright State not far behind. Once we started baker games, it was a battle between Wright State and us. It was really going to be down to the last game, but we pulled through and ended up bowling a 211 in the last baker game to win the whole tournament,” said Sophomore Varsity bowler, Rachel Kuczajda (’22).
This tournament win was a collaborative team effort from start to finish. Although the BGSU Falcon Classic was a moment for not only the team’s overall success, but also an opportunity for individuals to shine as well.
“The BGSU Falcon Classic went really well! […] We also had three girls make the all-tournament team. Rachel Kuczajda led the varsity division, Cassie White led the JV Division, and Sarah Gadde took 2nd place in the JV division!” said Davis.
Adding onto Davis’s comment, Coach Woodcock said, “Sophomore Rachel Kuczajda led all bowlers with a 216 average. Freshman Cassie White led all JV bowlers with a 204 average.”
The overall win and individual performances helped place the bowling team in a strong position for the second half of the season, which starts Saturday, January 11, 2020. These wins not only aid in their program’s success, but in the overall atmosphere of the team.
The Bowling team’s first match was in October with their season extending all the way into March. Due to the length and success of the season, it is only fitting that the team not only works together in matches, but outside of them as well.
“My favorite part of being on the bowling team is really the sense of community and belonging that bowling brings […] We are all so unique and we come from so many different backgrounds, but bowling brings us all together forming a special bond that I will have for the rest of my life,” said Kuczajda.
With this bond, the bowling team has not only proven to pose a threat this season, but to continue making history. All of this not only showcases the hard work the team puts in every day, but the goals and mindset they all embrace and want for this season.
“Our goal starting the season was to advance past Sectionals this year. I think our early success has put us in a lot of pressure situations that will help with that goal. I believe we will have more opportunities in the second half to challenge ourselves to also help achieve that goal,” said Coach Woodcock.