Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Versailles Lady Bowlers Place 5th at State

The time finally came for the Versailles High School Lady Bowlers. The OHSAA State Bowling Tournament took place at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl on Friday, March 4th. 16 Teams were competing for the State Title from all over the State. Unlike most other sports, there are more Divisions than just one. Bowling still only has one Division for the Boys and the Girls. However, due to the fast growth, bowling will be 2 Divisions starting next season.

The format was 3 Regular Games and 3 Baker Games. Scores would be tallied and the top 8 teams would then advance to the Bracket Style Match Play Finals. There were a lot of people that were favoring Coldwater to repeat as State Champions, however, many coaches and fans quickly took notice of the Versailles Lady Tigers after they realized the type of season they had. 3rd in the Ohio Invitational Kickoff Classic, 2nd in the Pioneer Classic, 1st Place in the WOHSBC beating Coldwater the final match of the season, 1st Place in Sectionals and 2nd Place at Districts.

“I feel we are one of the best teams in the State and have a great opportunity to win this. However, we have to gel as a team and keep the mistakes at a minimum because there are a lot of good teams here today. “said Coach Phlipot. The 1st game, the Lady Tigers started out just trying to figure out the lanes. This was the most oil they had bowled on all year and it was probably the toughest condition they faced in competition. “We had the girls practice on some tough conditions over the last few weeks to prepare them. We preached all week how strikes would be a lot harder to come by and converting spares were going to be even more important.” Said Coach Davidson.

Versailles struggled a little bit the 1st game with a 782. A lot of adjustments were made and a few changes were made to the lineup. They were starting to figure it out a little bit and improved to an 827 game. This put them right where they needed to be hovering around the 8th position. They just kept improving while a few other teams dropped off a little and rolled a score of 864. With 3 Baker Games to go, Versailles found themselves on the bubble in 8th position. “We told the girls all you need to do is make it to the dance (the top 8), it is then anyone’s championship to win since it is bracket style match play.” said Coach Davidson.

It was now time for the Baker Games. “With moving to our 4th pair and getting right into the Baker Games, it was critical for us to get lined up fast and put the right 5 girls in there.” Said Coach Phlipot. The Tigers rolled a 161 the first game, which was not too bad, but still kept them right at the cut line. “These girls were not going to be denied their shot at the title. After our talk and a change in the lineup, the girls huddled themselves for their own little meeting.” Said Coach Davidson. Apparently it worked as they started off with 5 strikes in a row. These were followed by a split and a missed spare, but they still proceeded to roll an awesome 201 game on this difficult lane condition. Just as the momentum shifted in the Tigers favor, things took a turn for the worse. They rolled a final game of 139 and finished with a 2,974 series. Some were thinking this may have spelled the end for the Lady Tigers. After an hour break to tally the scores and announce the individual awards, the announcements were made and Versailles ended up qualifying 8th to advance to the finals!

“Coldwater Coach Rick Hartings and I talked Thursday night and we both agreed that someone from the WOHSBC would meet in the finals. With Versailles, Coldwater and St. Marys all competing, it was almost imminent it was going to happen.” Said Coach Davidson. Well, as luck would have it, Coldwater was the number 1 qualifier and Versailles was 8th, so they were to face off for the rematch from just a few weeks ago. There was a large crowd behind lanes 7-8 as both teams were warming up. It was extremely quiet and tense and you could hear a pin drop (no pun intended). The 1st game looked as if it was going to go to the Tigers, but Coldwater converted (2) big splits while Versailles missed a couple of easy spares. Coldwater won the game by 15 pins. The 2nd game Coldwater started off on fire and took that game 191-148. Versailles had other plans in mind and did not give up. They won the 3rd game 190-165 and the momentum had shifted a little. Unfortunately, the breaks did not go the Lady Tigers direction and they could not carry a strike. Coldwater defeated the Tigers 189-148 and proceeded to run the table and repeated as Girls State Bowling Champions.

“What a season! I am so proud of these girls on their accomplishments. With over 275 girls bowling teams in the State of Ohio, to just make it here is incredible.” said Coach Phlipot. The Lady Tigers were led by Kelsey Berning with a 563 and she was selected as All-Ohio Honorable Mention.

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