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BOWLING: Anderson teams hoping for another strong season
The Anderson bowling teams are Cody Korbal (front, left), Geg Galetto, David Castle, Alex Piscitelli, Tyler Fults, Ryan Merchak and Joey Devereaux; Paige Podlaszuk (back row, left), Caitlynn Muzzey, Cerela Finley, Natasha Nelson, Marissa Williams, Tayler Daversa, Angela Rodriguez, Hailie Clawson and Coach Sean Sevrence. Missing from the photo are Gabe Becker and Kaitlynn Sears. This photo was taken at Indian Lanes in Wyandotte, Anderson's home lanes.
Last March, the girls went all the way to the Division 1 team final four before falling short against state runner-up Anchor Bay. Paige Podlaszuk and Angela Rodriguez, then juniors, finished fifth and 24th, respectively, in the state singles tournament finals.
After the high school season, they both bowled in a number of tournaments during the summer – going as far as Texas to compete in the AAU nationals.
Both have picked up where they left off. Podlaszuk’s 199 average is the third best among bowlers in the Downriver League and Western Wayne Athletic Conference, whose teams bowl against one another in the regular season.
Podlaszuk also has the highest scratch game (258) and third best scratch series (437) in the young season.
Rodriguez’s 180 average is second best on Anderson’s team, but would be the highest on nine other girls teams in the 12-team “league.”
She led the Titans with a 208 average over the seven tryout games.
They’re joined by seniors Hailie Clawson (148 average), Tayler Daversa and Kaitlynn Sears, junior Caitlynn Muzzey (139), sophomores Natasha Nelson (135) and Marissa Williams and freshman Cerela Finley.
Clawson is in her third year of varsity bowling. Sears was with the team two seasons ago, took last year off and is back with the squad in 2013. Daversa made her varsity debut this season and has improved her average by a mark and a half since tryouts. Williams is the only lefthander on the team.
“The last two years, I’ve been thankful to have a good portion of the girls back,” said third-year Coach Sean Sevrence. “It’s definitely helped with the learning curve.”
While all eight girls are getting playing time, Sevrence has plenty of confidence in the starting lineup, generally consisting of Rodriguez, Podlaszuk, Muzzey, Clawson and Nelson.
“I’m ecstatic,” the coach said. “I would love to be able to take these girls back to states. They learned so much last year through that experience. So far, they’re applying it to this season. I can only hope we’ll be back.”
The Titans are 3-1 this year – 2-1 vs. Western Wayne teams and 1-0 in the only Downriver League match so far with Wyandotte Roosevelt, the last game before the holiday break.
All 12 teams return to action on Friday with Anderson taking on winless Livonia Clarenceville.
“I think our team is pretty OK,” Rodriguez said. “I know we’re strong, but we’re not as strong as we could be. But we’re getting there.
“We have an awesome lineup. We need everyone to make their spares and fill their frames. We need consistency. We have to keep the mental part of the game intact. If you get too upset or stressed, you will bowl like dirt.”
The Anderson boys opened the season 2-2 and won their most recent game against Roosevelt – not bad for a team that returns just three bowlers from last year’s squad.
Among the three returners is junior Ryan Merchak, who is leading the Titans with a 210 average. Alex Piscitelli, in his third year of varsity bowling, is averaging 168. And sophomore Cody Korbal is back with a 133 average in the young season.
The team’s two seniors are brand new to the team, but they have plenty of bowling experience. David Castle is averaging 172 and Greg Galetto is at 162.
The rest of the bowlers on the Anderson team are freshmen: Gabe Becker (166 average), Tyler Fults (154) and Joey Devereaux (123).
“I think it’s a pretty good team overall,” Piscitelli said. “Tyler is the excited one. He’s always pumped. Ryan is our anchor. He works better under pressure, so we can count on him.
Even though five-eighths of the team is new to varsity bowling, Piscitelli said “now that we’ve bowled, we’ve come together as a team. And we’ve beaten Wyandotte – the first team that mattered. That’s always a morale booster.”
NOTEBOOK: The Anderson bowling team will host a fundraising bowling outing at 2 p.m. Jan. 13 at Indian Lanes in Wyandotte. The day includes three games of bowling, a slice of pizza and soda pop.
Admission is $15, with half going to the bowling program for bowling shirts, tournament costs and other expenses.
“Bowling is one of the few lifetime sports that we have,” Coach Sevrence said. “This is open to friends and family. It would be great to have them support us.”
Last Updated: 1/5/2013 11:30:54 PM EST