Olympic bowling enjoying first place

As bowling season rolls forward, the class of the Olympic League is beginning to take shape.

Olympic (6-0 overall, 5-0 league) leads the pack, picking up a victory over Sequim Tuesday to continue its quest for a return trip to state, where the Lady Trojans earned a second-place finish last season.

“The girls are working extremely hard,” Olympic coach Dave Colby said. “They are more mature (than they were last year), and they are getting better and better and better. They want first place this year.”

With senior captain Liza Ambrose, whose pin-fall average is 189 in regular games, leading the way, the Lady Trojans entered Thursday’s match against Bremerton having lost just one Baker Game all season. They are undefeated in regular games.

Ambrose, the team’s lone senior, has anchored that success.

“She wants to win,” Colby said. “She’s our best bowler. She’s an awesome little bowler, that’s all you can say about her. There is no stopping her.”

Left-hander Lacee Ness, sophomore Taryn Hepworth and juniors Audrey Duetsch and Emily Sutton round out the team’s starting lineup, which combined to roll 898 and 884 in regular games Tuesday.

“They are all doing well; let’s just hope it continues,” Colby said.

If the solid play does continue, the Lady Trojans are likely to capture their second league title in as many years and secure another berth to state. The taste of last year’s second-place finish lingers — the team fell behind by more than 350 pins on the first day of the two-day event, but shaved 300 pins off the lead on Day 2 — and Colby believes the team has what it takes to get over the hump.

“They are cooking right now,” he said. “But I keep telling them, ‘One game at a time, take it one game at a time.’”

Meanwhile, Klahowya (4-2 overall, 3-2 league) defeated Bremerton 4-3 Tuesday to create a three-way tie for second with the Lady Knights and Sequim. Bremerton took both Baker Games, but the Lady Eagles secured the preceding regular games thanks to strong performances from Shannon Frey and Courtney Snellenberg, who posted day totals of 337 and 328, respectively.

Carys Bailey posted a single-game high of 214, but she didn’t roll the second regular game because she had to leave the match early.

“We’re having a lot of fun,” coach Loree Hippe said. “They are looking really good.”

Hippe said competition for starting varsity positions has created a winning environment and the players are feeding off each other. Despite losing nine seniors from the 2008-09 squad, the team has 17 rollers and about 10 of them are vying for varsity time.

“They are pushing each other,” Hippe said.

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