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Athletes of the Week

Five rule the bowling lanes

The Girls Varsity Bowling team; kneeling, Caitlyn Stebbins, Erika Nowak; front, Alice Meyer, Stephanie Lavely and Danielle Hopkins. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - The Girls Varsity Bowling team finished their last set on Friday against Hazel Park with a celebration.

They beat Hazel Park in a shutout 30-0 and locked claiming the OAA league title with an undefeated season, 10-0.

"I am really proud of their performance," said Coach Elanor Hallman. "The key to moving forward this season is the girls mental game. These girls know how to bowl."

They followed the win with the OAA Tournament on Sunday, where they took first team and received awards for their season.

Caitlyn Stebbins and Stephanie Lavely were named to All-League first team; Erika Nowak to the All-League second team; and Alice Meyer to the All-League third team.

They also took first place at the Divine Child School Invitational on Saturday.

"This is the best team we have had since I have been on the team," said Lavely in her third year. "We act like a team."

"We have improved over time," Nowak added.

They have known each other for awhile helping their unique team dynamics - when one of them is having problems the others help out.

"I was half an hour late to the meet against Lake Orion," Lavely explained about the Feb. 7 meet. "We were both undefeated and I was late because of traffic."

"It is about staying calm," said Stebbins. "Stephanie was really freaked out and were worried about her. It didn't help she was really anxious."

They ended up beating Lake Orion and said it was their toughest opponent so far in the season.

Working as a team also works when they cheer each other on during their meets.

"It definitely helps we are as loud as we are," Stebbins smiled. "It brings out the competition."

"It intimidates the other team," Nowak added.

The girls also finished second in the Oakland County Bowling Team Championship, scoring 3,254 after series of regular and baker games. Walled Lake Central took first place, scoring 46 more points.

Danielle Hopkins had the fifth spot for high game score with a 226. Nowak bowled a 545 series and Lavely bowled a 531, both finishing in the top 25 for singles match play with Stebbins and Hopkins.

Nowak, Lavely, Stebbins and Hopkins finished in the top 25 for singles match play. They finished third in the Motor City Challenge on Feb. 5.

"Their success is truly a testament to the work that they have put in this season.," said Hallman.

"Many of the teams we compete against have more than five people on their varsity teams. Having more players makes it easier on the team because they are able to substitute players if someone is having a difficult time," she said. "We have not had that luxury this season. The girls have done a great job helping each other to make adjustments in their shots, to support each other

emotionally and picking up the slack if someone else is struggling."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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