Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Versailles Varsity Bowlers compete in Ohio Invitational Tournament (Girls finish 3rd!)

Bottom row: Megan Monnin, Paige Holsapple, Megan Ward
Back Row: Hannah Niekamp, Danielle Cochran, Tori Minnich, Kelsey Berning, Brooke Wehrkamp, Coach Tyler Phlipot
The Boys and Girls Varsity Bowling team traveled to the 64 Lane Palace Lanes in Columbus on Saturday, December 1st to compete in the Ohio Invitational Kickoff Classic. This is the largest High School Bowling Team Tournament in the United States. They were competing with the best teams in the State of Ohio based on last year's achievements. There were 31 boy’s teams and 31 girls teams competing. Out of the 31 boys teams, 4 qualified out of the WOHSBC. Out of the 31 girl’s teams, 3 were out of the WOHSBC, which goes to show you how competitive our conference is.

The format was 3 games of regular bowling and then each division was cut to the top 16 teams based on total pinfall. The oil pattern was the Kegel Broadway Pattern. (Kegel is a company based in Florida that produces lane machines, cleaners and lane oil. They also own and operate a state of the art training center for bowlers. This facility is also home to the Webber International Warriors Collegiate bowling teams that recently won the Collegiate National Championships last season. This pattern allows bowlers to play just about any part of the lane using various speeds and angles.

After 3 games of qualifying for both teams, the girls were sitting in great. The boys, on the other hand, were “on the bubble”. “My estimation was the girls were going to be in the top 8 after the cut. The boys were a little more stressful waiting for the scores to be tallied. The girls ended up in 8th position and made the cut to the match play top 16. The boys didn't quite have enough missing the cut by about 70 pins and finishing 21st, just 5 spots out of the finals,” said Coach Davidson.

“Unfortunately, the boys dug themselves a pretty big hole the first game. Although they missed the match play finals, they kept scratching away and made a great run to almost get there,” said Coach Davidson. “The girls were very consistent in the 3 game qualifier and bowled very solid,” stated Coach Phlipot.

With their 8th place qualifying position, the Lady Tigers were set to bowl 9th seed perennial powerhouse, Fairborn. The format was now the best 3 out of 5 Baker games. The 1st game belonged to Fairborn, 128-193. Versailles fought back and won the 2nd game 165-158. The 3rd game went back to Fairborn 134-171. The lanes were getting very tough due to all of the bowling during the day, especially the left lane. The girls were determined and kept focused with a 4th game win of 163-152. “Tyler and I got together and came up with a strategy for the last game. We were finishing on the tough left lane where both teams were struggling. Although we won the 4th game while bowling on the right lane, we switched out 2 of the girls for the final game. We put in couple girls that could throw the ball harder to help with the drier left lane,” said Coach Davidson. The strategy seemed to work as the last game went to the Tigers, 212-197.

The round of 8 started immediately with the Tigers bowling against Mother of Mercy, who led the qualifying round. “Although Mother of Mercy led the qualifying, I felt we were the better team due to the depth we have,” said Coach Phlipot. This match only went 4 games, with yet another victory for the Lady Tigers. 165-137, 118-146, 173-136 and 166-160.

The field is now down to the final 4 teams. Versailles now had to take on Beavercreek. In the other match was Xenia against Kettering Fairmont. The time was now about 7:30 pm and the girls had been bowling since 1 pm. It started out with Beavercreek winning 163-145 and 169-115. As the girls did all day, they kept battling to stay alive. They won 174-140 and had a good lead going into the 8th frame of the 4th Baker game. Their 3rd bowler rolled a great shot and struck. The 4th bowler’s ball crossed over to the Brooklyn side and struck. Their anchor bowler then proceeded to roll the 1st 2 strikes in the tenth to come from nowhere to win the game and the match. Beavercreek ended up winning 194-178. They also ended up defeating Xenia in the finals to win the 2012 Championship. “I cannot say enough of how proud I am of these girls, in the Baker Games they just kept battling back to beat some really good teams. It was definitely a team effort and was a blast to coach today,” said Coach Phlipot.

Out of the 31 girl’s teams in the tournament, 95% of them were D1 or D2 schools. “To finish tied for 3rd in this tournament with the caliber of teams is an awesome accomplishment for these girls,” stated Coach Davidson.

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