BY MICHAEL KELLY
SCHENECTADY — Playing against one of the top high school teams in the area, a building Niskayuna girls bowling squad continued to work toward its potential Dec. 22 at Boulevard Bowl.
Colonie won the match, 30-2, as Amanda Chrzanowski recorded the day’s high series with a 707, which included a game of 243. That high game began with seven consecutive strikes, as Colonie improved to 7-1 and Niskayuna dropped to 2-5.
While the match’s result did not go in her team’s favor, Niskayuna junior Julia Favata said she was encouraged with the way her team competed against Colonie.
“This year is a building year for us and we have progressed a lot,” she said. “We’ve definitely improved; we’ve greatly improved from the beginning of the year.”
Several of the squads’ key bowlers last season graduated high school, leaving head coach Carol Baldwin needing to find a host of new competitors for the 2014-15 season.
The result? The Silver Warriors have six eighth-graders on their team for this season, one of whom — Gina Voris — competed against Colonie as one of the squad’s six scorers.
Senior Lauren Litz said she was grateful so many youngsters came out for the team. She said it had crossed her mind that there might not be enough competitors to field a full team after losing so many bowlers from a year ago.
“So, it was just really great to see them all come out,” she said.
Many of the team’s younger competitors are relatively new to the sport. Baldwin said there has been “more teaching” for her to do this season, while her older bowlers have helped, too.
“We’re very supportive of each other, no matter how we bowl,” said Favata. “We make sure they’re calm and known what they’re doing. … This is a team sport.”
“And, we get along really well,” said Litz. “You don’t think high schoolers would get along with middle schoolers, but we do.”
Favata led Niskayuna Dec. 22 with a 589 series, while Litz had a 563. Next up was junior Morgan Richards at 495. Voris, one of the team’s eighth-graders, followed at 491. Junior Natalia Anapolar’s 378 and junior Angela Grant’s 342 finished out the team’s scoring.
With still a lot of season left to go, Baldwin said her team’s sights are set on improving and making sure its younger players continue to come along. While the squad’s record rests below .500, the coach said she won’t be surprised if the Silver Warriors upset a team or two in January.
“I think we’ll peak at the right time,” said Baldwin. “Some days, some of the bowlers have better days than others, but — when we all hit — I think we can be a very good team.”