Over the past 5-6 seasons of girls bowling, there has been a bit of a rotation between which teams have taken control of the DVC conference standings. Of course Waubonsie Valley had its dominant run under Hall of Fame head coach Marty Miller until his retirement in 2017. Then Neuqua Valley took a turn rising to the top, but the past three seasons Metea Valley has clearly been the team to beat. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
This past season, the Mustangs not only won the DVC, but qualified for state as a team for just the third time in program history. Metea was anchored by a talented, senior led roster which unfortunately means that a lot of the top talent from recent years have graduated, including Elizabeth Mansmith, Jasmine Allen, Holly Dudlicek, Michaela Graves and Sydney Lewis.
While that leaves a lot of holes to fill, head coach Kristen Mansmith has done a great job building the program during her tenure and she is excited to see who is ready to step up into the spotlight for the black and gold.
Senior Shelly Hess and sophomore Ava Babyar are three key returnees with varsity experience. Freshmen, Kemya Moore is already showing great promise, while a couple of returners in Jade Williams and Moriah Greenwood worked incredibly hard over the off season to improve.
Waubonsie Valley girls bowling won six state trophies from 2008-2017 including back to back state titles in 2013 and 2014, but the Warriors have not qualified for sectionals as a team, let alone state since 2017.
The Warriors still have a lot of work to do if they want to get back to that level, but the team should have a good amount of returning experience this winter. Despite the loss of talented senior Caitlin Clark, Ansley Atwater, Cassidy LaRocco, sophomore Sam Wiertelak and three seniors Sophia Trevino, Mackenzie Ondrejcak, and all Abby Walton hope to build on their improvements for the green and gold.
Neuqua Valley has been a strong, steady program under head coach Kathy Lohtak, however the last two seasons were clearly a rebuilding years. The rosters have been made up with many first time competitive bowlers. The biggest bright spot for the Wildcats last year was senior Olivia Hernandez, who led the team in scoring every time she rolled, and qualified for sectionals as an individual. Elham Isa is the top returner for the team, but Khushi Patel, Aadya Aggarwal, Srila Munukutla, Chloe Tang and Ana Cain also gained valauable experience for NV last season.
Let’s turn to District 203 and if one team is ready to pounce as a potential dark horse for the conference crown, it’s Naperville Central. The Redhawks program has improved mightily in recent years and boasts plenty of returning talent for the 2022-23 season. While the spirited efforts of graduating senior Jayda Armstrong will be missed, Central will have Skye Sanford, a sectional qualifier and daughter of Naperville North boys head bowling coach Tobey Sanford, back for her senior campaign. Teresa Duffrin, Sydney Hurst Brooklyn Hinton and D’Niya Little-Segers are also key varsity members who round out the varsity lineup. With the most experienced roster in the conference, not only should the Redhawks be a competitor for the conference crown, a first ever team qualification for sectionals is not out of the question.
Naperville North girls bowling wraps up our preview. The Huskies had an up and down season a year ago, at times looking impressive with wins over teams like Naperville Central, but also let a few chances for victories slip away. It will certainly be tough to replace top bowlers Alexis Wright and Bebe Grimaldo, who both graduated in the spring. But there is still several bowlers more than capable of helping the Huskies compete for a strong season. Ana Child, Ellie Connor, Caitlin Randall, Ava Weishaar and Aliesah Romero all had moments where they showcased the ability to lead the team on the scoresheet. At the very least, this group should be well suited to put up a fight in every DVC match and compete for sectional qualification.
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