Story by Taylor Hodges, Sports Editor
Photo Courtesy of Andris Visockis
The Aquinas Bowling team’s are off to a great start this year after placing third in their first competition. The Saints only home match is on November 7 at Westgate Lanes in Grand Rapids, MI. Like many teams at Aquinas, there are always first-years trying to make a mark, but sometimes that doesn’t come easy.
“As a team we are very young so lack of experience in the college bowling atmosphere is a huge challenge we face,” said junior Allie Neal. “This is personally my third year of college bowling however, we had a big recruiting class this year so it’s important that we use this year to not only gain experience and knowledge but also strengthen our bowling games, both physically and mentally.”
Even though the teams are young, they still have some strengths.
“We all get along and help each other out when someone needs it,” said senior Dakota Neff.
Neal commented saying “This is a difficult question for me because I struggle with confidence in my game. If I had to choose though I would say probably my drive to continue learning and share what I’ve learned as well as my diligence with the game.”
While Bowling is a team sport, many of the players have personal goals set for themselves.
“A personal goal would be to be WHAC all conference,” said Neff.
Neal commented with a little more detail saying “Personally I would love to figure out my mental game. Bowling is so much more complex than people realize and there’s a lot of skill and knowledge that goes along with it.”
After a few matches in November and December, the team will turn its focus towards preparing for the WHAC Championships in which they hope to have an outstanding performance. If the team does well during the season, especially the conference tournament, they will have an opportunity to compete at Nationals. For this to happen, the team will be counting on a couple of players to lead the way.
“Both Chelsey Purdum and I come from different collegiate programs that were nationally ranked so we bring a lot of experience to the team,” said Neal. “Everyone, new or returning, brings something to the table and that’s exactly what we need.”
Neff stated “One key player would be me, I’m the only senior so I need to take the lead and set a good example. Two more key players would be Ryan Lovett and Jared Edgerton because they are the only other returning starters.”
About the Writer…
Taylor Hodges is a senior majoring in Sport Management/ Business Administration. He is the sports editor for The Saint and interns with the public relations department for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He hopes to one day break into the hockey business as a General Manager, but until then, encourages you to follow him on Twitter and download his mixtape.