Lady Mounties bowling earns national recognition

CRESSON  — The Mount Aloysius College women’s bowling team seems to keep rolling strikes.

In just its fourth season, the Mounties have once again earned a top ranking among peers. The Lady Mounties sit in the 13th spot in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Preseason Poll of all NCAA Division II and Division III colleges. Mount Aloysius is the second highest Division III institution.

The team took to the lanes on Oct. 21-22 in Indianapolis for the Western Shootout. The season opener for the Lady Mounties did not disappoint with the varsity team finishing eighth in the traditional format and 11th in the baker format out of 34 teams.

Rayissa Amon rolled her way to a 17th position in the individual category with a 187 average. Beth Longer and Lucy Craig both made the top 30 with averages of 186 and 183 respectively.

There were 170 individual female bowlers at the event. Amon also took top baker average for the Mounties with a 19.0. Freshman Brooke Edelman rolled an impressive 18.3 baker average, and Freshman Michelle Bello rolled a 168 traditional average to lead the freshmen in their first tournament as Mounties.

Amon was named Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Bowler of the Week for the first week of the season. She was named AMCC Bowler of the Year for the last two seasons. Amon led the Mounties last year, when they won the AMCC regular season championship. Her 179 traditional average and 18.9 baker average both led the conference all season long. Amon bowled a high game of 255 against New Jersey City on January 14th, which placed her second in the conference for a single-game high. She was also named to the AMCC all-tournament team at the AMCC championships.

This is the Lady Mounties strongest finish to date in a United Stats Bowling Conference competition and the best start the team has had to any season in the team’s short history.

Coach Barbara Jones, starting her third season, is optimistic. In her two previous seasons, the Lady Mounties have secured two AMCC regular season championships and one AMCC post-season championship. This year she predicts the Lady Mounties will compete at the same high level.

“I expect this energetic team to bring more power, more precision and more heart than any other team I have coached at Mount Aloysius,” she said. “My first two years here at the Mount have seen the Lady Mounties win two-thirds of their matches each year and our win/loss record has been astounding. We are traveling to as many events as possible and are taking on as many Division I and Division II schools as possible to improve our strength of schedule.”

With only one loss to graduation, and the addition of five freshmen, the Lady Mounties enter the season with experience and fresh skills.

“Rayissa is a special competitor and she is looking for a “three- peat” for sure. Jessica Bello, Lucy Craig, Beth Longer, and Casey Schaffer have returned from the summer with a renewed determination and strong games,” Jones said. “The freshmen are the slightly younger version of our current upperclassmen and they exude strength, confidence and the needed motivation to succeed. They are adapting well to our coaching techniques and have kept an open mind about what it takes to step into leader roles when their names are called.”

Last year, the Mounties finished 14th nationally in the NCTA polland compiled a record of 58-29, including a 15-1 mark in the conference regular season.

Amon and Craig competed in the USBC Junior Gold Tournament. Amon finished in an impressive 24th place out of 840 bowlers. Craig placed 572 in the event. Craig, in her first year at the Junior Gold event, rolled her way to a 163 average, placing 572 in the event. Craig was able to come back in the Survivor’s Tournament where she rolled an impressive 1062 in the five-game series for a 212 average.

“Our team is looking very good after the first few weeks of practice, and I know that we are all very excited to begin this season off right and well,” she said. “After the ending last season, myself and the rest of the returners and the freshmen are looking forward to another great season.”