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Shelby Township, Sterling Heights

February 26, 2014

Eisenhower girls bowl way into state finals

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Senior Elizabeth Ireland takes a shot during the MHSAA individual regional tournament on Feb. 22. Ireland was critical to Eisenhower’s team qualification for the state finals by leading the Eagles with a 182 average during the team regional competition.

STERLING HEIGHTS — For the first time in five years, the girls’ bowling team at Utica Eisenhower will be going back to the state finals tournament.

The Eagles took third at the MHSAA Division 1 team regional held at 5-Star Lanes on Feb. 21. Eisenhower collected 3,546 total pins for the day, as Sterling Heights Stevenson took first with 3,761 pins and Macomb Dakota finished in second with 3,690 pins.

Despite making the cut for states, Eisenhower coach Mike Pollack believes his team can bowl even better with the experience of the regional behind them.

“There’s an unbelievable amount of nerves out there for them. I just have to get them to relax because when they’re relaxed, they’re good,” Pollack said. “Next week, I think they’ll be a little more relaxed than what they were today.  It won’t be as bad, and they’ll also have the singles under their belt. With this competition, it’s something you have to get used to.”

Although Pollack thought that his team could’ve taken the regional title, he remained pleased that his team’s goals remain in tact.

“The goal was to make it. Finishing first is nice, but you can’t win it if you don’t make the cut, and they accomplished the first part of their goal. Now, the second one is to make the cut next week to get to the round of 16, because anybody can beat anybody in those matches,” Pollack said.

Senior Elizabeth Ireland led the Eagles with a 182 average, followed closely by sophomore Mackenzie Janssen at 181. Madison Mcnamara, Nicole Yakimovich, Haley Zynda and Carly Schiner contributed to the team averaging 172 in Baker games.

Individuals qualify for finals
Eisenhower will also be sending two bowlers to the individual state finals.

On the girls side, Ireland took third at the individual regional contest by totaling 1,181 pins for an average of 197 per game.

For the boys, freshman Chris Ireland will be representing the Eagles at the state finals. Chris Ireland took seventh at the individual tournament by collecting 1,266 pins for a 211 average.

Chieftains also represented
Utica senior Andrew Venturini took sixth place at the individual regional competition by taking 1,280 pins. Venturini saved his best performance of the weekend for last, as he bowled a 298 in his last game.

MHSAA Division 1 team state finals will take place on Feb. 28 at Sunnybrook Lanes in Sterling Heights. Individual state finals will take place at the same alley on March 1.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.