Plum bowlers prep for state tourney
The Pennsylvania State Bowling Championships are Friday and Saturday at North Versailles Bowl, and the Plum boys team and sophomore Allie Dick have qualified for the team and individual competitions, respectively.
The state singles tournament, involving the top 12 finishers from the Western Regional Championships last Friday and 12 bowlers from the eastern side of the state, will be Friday at 9 a.m.
The team competition will be Saturday at 9 a.m. and features the top six teams from the Western Regionals and six more teams from the east.
The Plum boys squad will bowl at states for the fourth time in a row. Last year, the Mustangs took fifth at regionals and 10th at states.
This year at regionals, the Plum boys battled a challenging oil pattern and came away with a fourth-place finish.
“No one person carried the team,” Plum boys head coach Jerry Yushinski said.
“Everyone contributed. The motto for them is to never give up, no matter what happens in a match, and they didn’t give up.”
Plum was in second after the first regular game (930) and in sixth (2,587) when the three regular games concluded.
Senior Josh Kirchartz led the way with a 589 series, while sophomore Josh Christman (517), freshman Dom DelVecchio (496) and senior Dan Yushinski (495) helped the cause.
Freshman Jonathan Dygert came in as a replacement for senior Cody Frisco in the first game, and he added games of 161 and 180 in games two and three, respectively.
The group teamed up for six Baker games, and the 580 for set one and 455 for set two propelled the team into fourth with a 3,622 total.
Armstrong won the regional title with a total of 3,993 pins, followed by Hempfield (3,850) and Moon (3,790).
The Plum girls, who finished the regular season with an undefeated record in Section 3, fell two spots short of their goal for states and took eighth overall.
“I didn’t make adjustments for the girls quick enough to put them in a position to succeed,” Plum girls head coach Cliff Kirchartz said.
“It was a bad break for them, and they might have had a little bit of nerves, too. But they had a great season with an undefeated section title and a trip to regionals. All five will be back next year with a chance to get to states.”
Sophomore Allie Dick finished with a team-best 490 in the three regular games, while freshman Sarah Kirkpatrick followed with a 486.
Junior Bethany LaBertew (464), sophomore Talia Pilyih (461) and junior Kristen Ankers (334) also contributed for Plum, which shot a high game of 165 in the six Baker games to finish with 3,089 pins, 146 pins away from sixth.
Last year, Pilyih represented Plum at states. This year, Dick will be the one at state singles for the Mustangs.
She qualified sixth at the regional tournament with a six-game total of 1,039. She had a high game of 196.
“Allie started slow, but she found her mark and picked it up,” coach Kirchartz said.
Dick also competed in the stepladder finals as the No. 6 seed, and she suffered a close 174-162 loss to Mikayla White from Butler.
“She had a split toward the end of the match that didn’t allow her to maximize her score,” coach Kirchartz said.
Pilyih placed 19th with a six-game score of 969 and a high game of 198.
“It was an extremely tough oil pattern overall, and one bad game (134) cost her. All the kids struggled.”
Coach Yushinski echoed the sentiments of a tough oil pattern.
Yushinski missed the top 12 by only six pins, as he placed 14th overall with a six-game total of 1,071 and a top game of 206.
Josh Kirchartz took 20th with a 1,046-pin score — 31 pins away from the top 12.
“Both shot really well on what was one of the toughest oil patters I’ve ever seen,” coach Yushinski said.
“I am proud of the guys for scoring in the top 20. I knew they were capable of making states, and they were so close. Both never gave up and kept working hard. Spares were the difference. Dan, for example, would’ve been in the top 12 with one more spare. It’s tough.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review sports reporter. You can contact Michael at 412-856-7400 x8632, email@example.com or via Twitter .