Troy girls bowling team turns in gutty performance; advances to state semifinals


COLUMBUS — It was a fitting final performance for Troy bowling seniors Kaylee Kalmar, Kayleigh McMullen, Kylie Schiml and Morgan Shilt at the Division I girls state bowling tournament Saturday at Wayne Webb Bowl.

Rob Dever;s squad, who advanced to the state tournament for the third time in four years — along with sophomores Aiyana Godwin, Kiondra Johnson and Kristin Sedam Saturday — may have not had their best days scoring wise.

But, the seven gutted their way to the state semifinals, before losing a heartbreaker to Jonathan Alder.

“To finish third in the state, that is pretty impressive,” Dever, the girls coach, said. “The hard thing about the state tournament is only one team is going to win their final match. And when you lose that final match, it kind of leaves a bad taste. But, once that little mourning period is over, you feel pretty good about what you accomplished.”

The girls got into the match play portion of the competition by taking advantage in their final two baker games to recover from a slow start.

Troy was in 10th after the first game with an 833 total.

A 798 second game dropped them to 13th place and they remained in 13th after an 855 third game — 67 pins behind eighth place.

“It was a tough shot and we struggled,” Dever said. “It would have been easy for them to throw in the towel and say 13th in the state is pretty good.”

A 158 baker game in the first game seemed to seal their fate, but the girls turned the tide in the second baker game.

Smith and Schiml gave the Trojans a double going into the 10th frame and McMullen struck on her first two balls to give them a 218 game.

In the third game, Schiml, McMullen, Godwin, Shilt and Johnson would combine for five straight strikes and McMullen would finish strong in the 10th frame again to get them to 212.

Those two games jumped them all the way to fifth-place and advanced them to the quarterfinals.

“Jumping eight spots in the baker games is almost unprecedented,” Dever said. “But, we got hot at the right time. We were 55 pins better than the second best team in the baker games and we beat 12 of the other 15 teams by more than 100 pins in the baker games.

The girls showed their mettle again in the first quarterfinal against fourth seed Ashland.

After dropping the first two games 178-176 and 174-161 in the best of five, Troy responded with three straight wins to advance.

The Trojans won 157-143, 186-156 and 144-138.

“We always talk about having a chip on our shoulder when we get in those head to head matchups,” Dever said.

That matched them up against eighth seed Jonathan Alder, who had upset top seed Uniontown Green in the quarterfinals.

Alder won the first game 181-136 and Troy won the second game 150-110.

Alder won the third game 163-145, but the Trojans tied it with a 191-187 win.

But, Alder won the deciding game 161-154 to end Troy’s season.

In the end, the lane choice may have decided the match.

“You get to choose which lane you want to start on,” Dever said. “We chose the left lane — of course, you don’t know what the lanes are going to be like because you haven’t been on them. That left lane (which they bowled on all three games they lost) was a really tough lane. I think the most impressive thing was the fourth game when they rolled a 187 at us and we rolled a 191 to force a fifth game. I think that says a lot about our girls.”

McMullen, state runnerup a year ago, led Troy in the individual competition with games of 188, 177 and 203 to finish 17th with a 568 series.

Schiml had games of 150 and 219 and Shilt had games of 192 and 172.

Godwin had games of 175 and 147 and Kaylee Kalmar had games of 161 and 147.

And while it is tough to say goodbye to the four seniors, Dever hopes this weekend will benefit the three sophomores as they move forward.

“They were able to go through this (state tournament) experience,” Dever said. “And see what it takes and the adjustments you have to make mentally.”

As the four seniors left their mark on the program — and Troy made its mark in the state tournament one more time.

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