Girls bowling advances to state for first time in history

Girls bowling strikes other teams at state with their diligence



On Feb. 19, girls bowling poses after finishing 15th at state

On Feb. 18-19, the girls bowling team competed at state and placed 15th overall. Shannon Burgert finished 39th at state averaging 191 after advancing to the second day of the tournament.

Making it to state as a team was a highlight for senior Ella Kastelic, especially since members on the team have prepared a lot.

“A lot of us do leagues and work in the off season to improve our game, so that’s how we were able to go to state,” said Kastelic.

Senior Ava Vickery mentioned how the team’s hard work has paid off.

Our varsity team has been together for the past four years, but we’ve really gotten to know each other and know how to help each other when we’re not doing well or upset with ourselves

— Vickery

“Everyone has put in so much work these past four years so being able to go to state was a huge accomplishment, especially placing 15th, when Vernon Hills, who we lost to in sectionals, placed 24th,” said Vickery.

12 total teams competed at the sectional event hosted by Buffalo Grove on Feb.12. The New Trier Girls Bowling team finished second, Vernon Hills finished first. The top four teams advance to the state finals.

This is the seventh season in a row the team has advanced to the sectionals and the first time they have ever gone to state, making this very exciting for the team members as well as Varsity Head Coach David Hjelmgren.

“Those that have been around for the duration have really have created a culture that focuses on teamwork and the idea that we’re all in this together and we have a common goal,” said Hjelmgren. “They’re competitive and it really showed itself at the sectional tournament, where we had the best afternoon three game series in the entire sectional.”

The team is 11-1 in their matches this season and they have faced lots of competition against other teams, particularly Evanston, one of the team’s main rivals.

“We have a tradition where the winner of the match gets to keep the pin, which is kind of like a traveling trophy. We won against Evanston twice this year so we’re keeping the pin which is very exciting,” said Hjelmgren.

The team also hosted and won the IHSA regional, which is the second ever regional title for New Trier Girls Bowling. 

“I think we’ve managed to do well because we just work really well together. Our varsity team has been together for the past four years, but we’ve really gotten to know each other and know how to help each other when we’re not doing well or upset with ourselves,” said Vickery. 

The team has also shown incredible resilience through dealing with the Omicron variant.

“They keep on battling and when someone is out the next bowler just comes in and has done the job. I’m really proud of every single one of the athletes in our program and just to note even with all that both varsity and JV teams were conference champions,” said Hjelmgren.

Maya Morales finished fifth in the sectional overall as an individual. She threw a personal best of 255 in the sixth and final game at the sectional, securing the team going to state. Her overall series of six games was 1170 pins and she had the highest afternoon series in the entire sectional.

The team consists of nine seniors and nine underclassmen; the five captains are Maya Morales averaging 179, Shannon Burgert averaging 176, Lilli McLaughlin averaging 172, Erica Truong averaging 170, and Ella Kastelic averaging 159.

“They really have just done an outstanding job creating a culture that is just a wonderful group of kids,” said Hjelmgren.