Ephrata closes H.S. bowling season with trip to Nationals

By on June 28, 2017
The Ephrata High School bowling team competed at Nationals this past weekend. The members of the team include (front row, left to right): Coach Bryan Dissinger and Coach Sean Molchany. (Middle, l-r): Samantha Heindel, Jared Bigley and Logan Molchany. (Back, l-r): Lee Enck, Cameron Zwally, Nick Vanderwende and Davin Dissinger.

The Ephrata High School bowling team competed at Nationals this past weekend. The mebers of the team include (front row, left to right): Coach Bryan Dissinger and Coach Sean Molchany. (Middle, l-r): Samantha Heindel, Jared Bigley and Logan Molchany. (Back, l-r): Lee Enck, Cameron Zwally, Nick Vanderwende and Davin Dissinger.

Bowling teams from Ephrata and Penn Manor plus individuals from Warwick and Elizabethtown represented Lancaster County and Pennsylvania extremely well this past weekend in Smyrna, Tennessee. The teams competed Saturday, while all individuals toed the lanes on Sunday as part of the U.S. High School Bowling National Championships.

Thirty-six states were represented in the tournament which kicked off at the 7 a.m. sign-in Saturday morning. When it was all said and done, the Mounts qualified for the second round, finishing 16th with a three-game total of 2,872 pins plus a three game Baker (each bowler rolls two frames) format three game score of 557 for a tally of 3,429.

Ephrata was unable to advance to the finals, finishing in 19th place out of 41 teams. All seven Mounts that made the trip contributed to the team score, including recent graduates Jared Bigley and Nick Vanderwende, incoming seniors Lee Enck, Samantha Heindel and Logan Molchany, plus juniors Gavin Dissinger and Cameron Zwally.

Penn Manor, the two-time Pennsylvania champion, fell one slot short of the team finals, finishing fifth. Ephrata finished second to the Comets in the State Tournament after out-finishing Manor to also claim the silver medal in the Eastern Regional team event.

Individually, E-town’s Olivia Farwell took the top prize, adding the girl’s national title to her State, Eastern Regional and District Championships. Penn Manor’s Austin Curtiss finished eighth on the boys side while locals Vanderwende (36th) and Isaac Erickson (44th) led their teams during the individual phase.

“Personally, this experience was huge,” explained Heindel, after returning from the trip. “I was recruited by a college that saw how I bowled with the team on Saturday. Nationals got me to realize that it’s OK to shoot under-average games because the next game you can come back and roll a big score.”

“I think all the kids were nervous, but they didn’t shy away from the competition,” added head coach Bryan Dissinger. “In the team event, we never put a run of strikes together, but we did shoot our spares well.”

Dissinger expressed that they learned a lot from the experience, many of the lessons falling into the mental column.

“There were 18 teams that beat us, so we can learn and grow as a team,” he said. “I think it’s going to make us a much stronger team. Hopefully, it carries over into next year.”

Heindel also has her eye on next winter.

“I’m going to give every shot 100 percent,” she said. “Lee (Enck) and I like to help each other and our other teammates when we see the shot changing. I feel like if we bring more of that and get better connected as a team, we have a good shot of coming back again next year.”

“If we get a next time,” added Dissinger, “and I hope we do, we’ll practice and prepare for the unknown. We lose two seniors, but we’ll still be seven strong.”

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