The Peninsula High School girls bowling team, led by head coach Kristy Whitcher, returns senior Alaina Morgan, who reached the Class 3A state tournament last year and hopes to build on that performance.
Other bowlers include Abbey Nicholson, Caitlyn Parks, Hannah Nicholson and Isabel Forsel.
Whitcher said she hopes Nicholson can join Morgan at the state competition.
“Hannah just missed going to district last year, but she has really improved, so we have our sights on district and state,” Whitcher said.
Morgan, who has only been bowling for two years, said she averages 180. Her three-game average at the district tournament last year qualified her for state by one pin. She went on to place 40th individually.
Morgan credits Witcher for helping her reach the state level, despite her inexperience.
“She’s a professional bowler, and she’s really nice,” Morgan said. “I hadn’t bowled before last year when I joined. I wasn’t very good, but she got me to qualify for state.”
Morgan said Witcher helped her improve every aspect of her game, but most notably getting spares.
“A really important aspect of bowling is picking up my spares,” Morgan said. “She had me work on that at practice. She wouldn’t care about the first shot.”
Morgan said she hopes to continue to improve, and she hopes Nicholson can join her in the postseason.
“I’d definitely like to qualify for state again and place higher than last year,” Morgan said. “I think it’d be pretty cool to see Hannah qualify as well. I really want to just keep improving. I’m still new to this.”
Morgan, a catcher and third baseman year-round in softball, said bowling’s relaxed atmosphere is a nice change of pace.
“It’s not as stressful as softball is,” she said. “It’s more relaxing.”
Bowlers compete both individually and as a team.
“I just hope that their dedication pays off at the end of the year,” Whitcher said.Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at jon.manley@ gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.