li The Highland bowling Lady Bulldogs opened the season by dominating two dual-match opponents before going on finish ninth out of 18 teams at the Abe Lincoln Invitational Saturday in Taylorville.
First on Nov. 30, Highland served as a rude host after smashing first-year program Alton Marquette, 39-1, on Wednesday at Poplar Junction Lanes.
Next on Thursday, the Bulldogs shut out the host East Alton-Wood River Oilers 40-0.
Highland, which is coached by Laura Wander-Vrell, has gotten off to a good start despite being a young team with lots of potential. Junior Emma Schuster is the only returning varsity member who gained experience a year ago.
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Also for HHS, Molli Pfister is the senior captain while sophomore Delaney Grimes, junior Haley Basler, junior Kali Rutz and freshman Kayla Rutz will also see varsity time.
HHS places ninth at tourney
Highland placed in the middle of the pack in the 18-team field at the Abe Lincoln Invite in Taylorville with a six-game total pin count of 4,776.
Collinsville won the team title at 5,799. Rounding out the top five teams were O’Fallon 1 (5,674), Alton (5,433), Triad (5,303) and Salem (5,329).
Individually, O’Fallon 1’s Mary Orf won the individual title with a total pin count of 1,295, which equates to a strong 215.8 average.
Also placing in the top five were Triad’s Tessa Eberhart at 1,283 (a 213.8 average), Mount Vernon’s Erika Damerow at 1,257 (a 209.5 average), Collinsville’s Madisyn Juenger at 1,255 (209.2) and O’Fallon 1’s Lauren Tomaszewski at 1,228 (a 204.8).
Schuster was the Bulldogs’ best bowler on the day after coming in 11th place with a pin total of 1,131, which is a 188.5 average. Schuster’s best games were 233, 207 and 204.
HHS blanks East Alton-Wood River
Highland swept all of the match’s 40 points after taking all 20 of the team points and all 20 of the individual points.
Schuster again led the way to victory after bowling the match’s highest series with a 568. She also had had the top two games with a 201 and a 198.
Also bowling good games for the Bulldogs were Kali Rutz (188), Pfister (192) and Basler (183).
HHS bowls over Alton Marquette
Highland swept all 20 of the team points and won the match’s total pin count by more than 700 pins, 2,446 to 1,723, while also conquering 19 of the 20 individual points.
Schuster was far and away the match’s superior bowler as she fired a 645 series. Schuster was not content to just achieve the match’s best individual game her first time out with a 226, so she went out and matched it with an identical 226 second game. She still finished with a solid solid 193 final game.
Alton Marquette’s Shelby Jones was a distant second with a 535 series and a high games of 200 and 184.
Also bowling good games for the Bulldogs were Kali Rutz (184), Delaney Grimes (172) and Molli Pfister (170).