Hurst bowling off to an exciting start


Megan Mckay, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst women’s bowling team’s season is underway and has gone very well. The team is made up of 11 bowlers coached by Michael Machuga. The bowlers have had a strong start to their season after winning the Mercyhurst Invitational.

The team secured the home victory by beating Duquesne, who is a top ranked team, with a final match score of 4-2. Following their home event, the team placed fifth in the Penguin Classic in Ohio. The team also participated in two other tournaments where they finished runner up in both.

Freshman Jenna Stretch shared her thoughts and said,

“Despite not being able to finish out the championship matches we have been making ourselves known and even increased our national rankings.”

Stretch has also built up her own individual accolades too. She was named Mercyhurst’s Athlete of the Week and ECC Bowler of the week after her performance in the Brunswick Invite where she claimed second place at the tournament.

As just a Freshman, Stretch has become a top bowler on the team with an overall fill percentage of 82.4%, which is tied for the second-highest on the team alongside Samantha Strebel.

The team recently participated on Friday, Nov. 18 in the Hawk Invitational in Delaware. Stretch described how it was a major learning experience for all the teams after the Lakers got off to a slow start. Despite the difficult lane conditions, the team overcame the bump from the first day after going 1-3.

The second day the team went 2-3 and on the final day the team went 3-0 in matches. Senior Haley Youker and Freshman Nikki Lemponen led the charge for the Lakers in the tournament. The Invitational was a great opportunity for the Lakers to face talented teams and grow as a team. The bowlers have proven their abilities to dominate in the future by ending the invitational strong.

Stretch shared the team’s goals for the remainder of the season.

“Our goal as a team is to keep growing and increase our position in the rankings to hopefully reach the NCAA championship. We look forward to finishing out our last few tournaments to hope-fully take home some wins,” said Stretch.

The Lakers have some time off from tournaments to hone in on their skills in practice. Their next Invitational is Saturday, Feb. 4 and Friday, Feb.17 back in Delaware in the Griffin Baker Classic and at Wilmington University.

The bowling season has been nothing short of a marathon as the team will finish the remainder of their season in the spring. The NCAA Regional bowling finals begin April 8 and if qual-ified the team will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada for the NCAA Championships.