Mercyhurst bowling keeps improving

Jacob Freda, Contributing writer

After finishing 1-9 at the first tournament of the spring season, the Lakers headed to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 16, to compete in the Third Annual Br. Patrick Lacey Memorial Tournament held at Hillview Lanes. Competing against eight other institutions, the Lakers took third, going 3-2 with a 152.6 game average and a total of 3,816 pins in the five traditional matches.

For the second time in three years, the Daemon College Wildcats won first place with the Saint Vincent Bearcats coming in second.

Leading the tournament was sophomore Haley Youker, who earned first place in the individual category with a 186.80 average and 934 pins. Not only did Youker earn a spot on the All-Tournament team for the fifth time this season, but she was also named the Most Valuable Player for the fourth time.

Following Youker for the Lakers was freshman Samantha Schurr who placed ninth with 781 total pins and a 156.2 average. “It’s always been my dream to compete in bowling in college,” Schurr said.

Like any other freshman athlete competing at a college level, Schurr raises her personal performance standards to improve every time. “It was nerve-wracking, and it always gets your nerves up, but it gets better,” Schurr said.

Freshman Samantha Strebel placed in 12th with a 150.60 average and 753 total pins. Sophomore Anica Akin came in 15th with 725 total pins and and 145 game average. Lastly, freshman Andrea Fracassi placed 23rd with a 124.6 average and 623 total pins.

The Lakers were able to start off the day by defeating the Penn State Behrend Nittany Lions 745-692 before losing to the Bearcats 871-763. The team then succeeded in earning a default victory over the absent Ursuline College Arrows but were bested by the Wildcats 805-774. Topping off the tournament, Mercyhurst played Penn State Behrend a second time, winning 816-672. With an overall record of 3-2, the Lakers were able to place third and garner the team’s best scores in the program’s history.

Before the tournament took place, coach Michael Machuga stated that regardless of the victor, he had a good feeling about the tournament and hinted that the team might be getting ice cream afterward.

According to Schurr, practice is extremely important when it comes to competing in tournaments. “It’s not only about the pattern and having the skill, but it’s also the ability to adjust to changing conditions,” Schurr said. “The rest of the team and I have performed better than ever due to the dedication of the team to success.”

The Lakers will return to the alleys at Hamilton Township, New Jersey to compete in the Hawks Flight Invite on March.