Girls Bowling: Julia Bond, Waubonsie Valley cash in for state title
BY MATT LE CREN For Sun-Times Media February 22, 2014 8:30PM
Waubonsie Valley's girls bowling team won its second straight state title this weekend. | Provided photo
Updated: February 23, 2014 2:48AM
There was no stopping Julia Bond and her Waubonsie Valley teammates on Saturday.
Bond rolled the second-highest series in the history of the finals to win the individual state championship and the Warriors became just the fifth repeat team champion at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford.
Bond’s two-day total of 2,817 (234.8 average) was just 50 pins shy of the state record set by O’Fallon’s Natalie Goodman in 2011 and was 29 better than Leyden senior Reba Hall, who finished second with the fourth-best total in history (2,788).
Bond, a senior, is Waubonsie’s first state champion in girls bowling.
“It means a lot to be a part of school history,” Bond said. “It’s a win for me and it makes me feel good about myself. It shows that I’ve put in the work and I hope it shows other girls that it does take hard work but if you do it and you have a great team behind you, you can accomplish anything in sports.”
“She’s been bowling so well lately, but [to do it] on this stage says a lot,” Waubonsie Valley coach Marty Miller said. “She was just pounding the pocket, getting on strings of strikes.”
Bond began the day with a 299 and had a 268 in the third game to open up a 61-pin lead on Hall, who outscored Bond in each of the last three games but couldn’t catch her.
“She’s a very competitive bowler,” Bond said of Hall. “She put the pressure on. I wasn’t carrying and she was carrying a ton. I was jealous for a little bit but I refocused and I figured it out and it’s all good.”
It was the second state medal for Bond, who was fourth last year, and the third for Hall, who was third in 2012 and ninth last season.
“I could have bowled a little bit better and maybe won, but it’s nice to be on the record sheet,” Hall said. “It’s something special so I’m pretty happy.”
Waubonsie Valley is the first team to repeat since Harlem in 2002. The Warriors won with a 12,416 total. Leyden was second with 12,214, 50 more than Hoffman Estates, which rallied late to take third place.
Senior Rachael Felton was 20th for Waubonsie (2,540), which also got contributions from seniors Sara Barsotti (2,212) and Talyssa Melgoza (1,955) and sophomores Violet Kirk (1,655) and Veronica Dreyfus (1,237).
“The seniors are definitely happy to end their high school careers on a great note,” Bond said. “We acknowledge that [Leyden] is a great team with great bowlers, but we just tried to keep the blinders on and focus on our game.”
For Leyden, it was the first trophy in school history in a girls sport. The Eagles had been close before, missing third place by 90 pins two years ago, but got it done thanks to Hall, seniors Erika Pimentel (2,694), Nicole Lassin (2,530) and Marlo Townsend (1,777) and junior Ashley Kriston (2,313).
“It was a great tournament,” Leyden coach Chris Aylward said. “We’ve known the last two years we could have been in this situation. We’re really fortunate to accomplish it this year. It’s a special team and a special accomplishment.”
Metea Valley junior Jordan Newham recovered from a slow start and finished third at 2,707 to become her school’s first state medalist.
“She bowled great,” Metea Valley coach Rich Kurek said. “That was kind of rough starting with a 192 and 199 but I talked to her and next thing I know she’s bowling her butt off.”
Joliet West’s Julie Kowalski took fourth place (2,698) and teammate Gracie Plese tied Pimentel for fifth (2,694). Oswego East’s Kailey Kopacz (eighth, 2,635) and Trinity’s Tara Quinlan (11th, 2,605) were the other area medalists.