Varsity Bowling Knocking Them Down One Pin at a Time

Bowling moves up in the ranks after they take down No. 2 Mount Mercy Academy.


Maddy Leary '17

Varsity Bowling Team from the left to right, Maddy Leary ’17, Lucy Marie Gaulin ’17, Jenna Al-Naji ’17 and Sary Lyu ’18.

January 24, SEM’s Varsity bowling team had the match of their season – doing the best they have in two years. With this win against the number 2 ranked team, Mount Mercy Academy, they are ready to take the Monsignor Martin Bowling League by surprise.

Although they lost the overall match between the them they were able to get two wins out of four games. This win put Buffalo Seminary’s Red Tailed Hawks varsity bowling team in fourth seed in the league. With this win under their belt the bowling team is motivated more than ever to do their best in the closing weeks of their season.

Grace Heidinger ’18 on her way to a 191 score. Photo by Maddy Leary ’17.

“We are a cohesive unit of strong women who give their all to a sport that is commonly overshadowed by other sports,” said Maddy Leary ’17.

The win on Tuesday night showed what the team is truly capable of.  Captain Jenna Al-Naji ’17 said “It’s good to see all of the hard work we have been putting into practice is paying off. I believe if we keep pushing ourselves we can keep moving up in the rankings.”

Match recap the first game they lost although everyone played really well and all score over 100; 100 is an average bowling score in the Monsignor Martin League. It is also the score that is given to a team if they are short a player. Mount Mercy was down one player which allowed SEM to have the upper hand on Tuesday. The second and third games SEM was able to clinch the victory. This gave them two out of four points and bumped them up in the leagues rankings from fifth to fourth. Mount Mercy stayed at the number two seed but they were shocked when SEM was able to win two games.

Team’s final score including Grace Heidinger ’17 high score. Photo by Maddy Leary ’17

Not only did the team move up in rankings but Grace Heidinger ’18 bowled not only her highest score of the season but the team’s highest score, a 191. When asked about her score Grace’s face lit up with a excitement as she reminisced about her accomplishment. “I wasn’t expecting it. It was exciting and rewarding to see that my hard work in practice had finally paid off.” Grace hopes that the win will boost the team’s confidence. “Beating the team that was in second place was really satisfying for not only the team but the coaches as well.”

Captain Jenna Al-Naji ’17 using what coaches Edi and Jim have taught her to work. Photo by Maddy Leary ’17.

Maddy, who is new to the bowling team this year, was eager to share her excitement about the big win. She began the season on junior varsity bowling since she was new. She quickly showed that she had what it takes to be a varsity bowler and was moved up to varsity. “I wanted to try to do something new during the winter sports season and doing something to show pride for my school.” When asked what is it is like being a new member on the team she mentioned it was weird at first because the team is so small but she felt included right away. “I fell into place on the team very quickly. I feel like my contributions to the team make an impact.”

Coaches Edi and Jim Dreff are very proud of the team and all that they have done this season. Edi loves to see how every girl is supportive of each other and have worked their hardest to improve their skills.  She went on to explain that it is wonderful to see the team averages go up along with everyone’s team spirit.  “I truly believe the girls enjoy bowling even though some may not admit it.”

The team and coaches are hopeful that this big win will carry over in the closing weeks of the season. “I hope we can stay constant with our scores and maybe even bump them up,”  said Jenna who said she feels optimistic for the team’s prospects with All-Catholics coming up. All-Catholics is the championship in the Monsignor Martin League in which SEM has participated in every year. The last time the SEM varsity bowling team won was in 2015. Jenna, whose sister Hiba ’14 founded the SEM bowing team, said she’s enthusiastic for the end of the season even though it will be her last. “I am hoping that everyone on the team will get there highest score in bowling this year. Because as we all know every pin counts.”