Bowling hits the alleys
Lourdes University added to its athletic offerings with the addition of its men’s and women’s bowling programs for the 2018-2019 school year, bringing the total number of varsity Gray Wolf sports to 19.
Torrie Bartalone, a former Honorable Mention All-America selection during her collegiate days, was named the head coach, beginning the program from scratch in the spring of 2018. She entered the start of the inaugural season with nine men and seven women and the teams had a great deal of success in year one. Coach Bartalone’s husband Dan joined the program this fall as an assistant coach.
“For recruiting and positioning these teams for competition, all I asked from them was to be accountable, dedicated and committed to doing better each day,” she said. “We had a mix of bowlers from all different stages of bowling, but we got the right mix of experience, culture and leadership to make this a great first year – one that we have all been proud of.”
Women’s Bowling Team
In September, the season started with a bang as the women’s team took home top honors at the Railsplitter Baker Kick-off in Tennessee, the program’s inaugural event. The ladies finished second at the West Michigan Laker Classic in October and finished third in one of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference jamborees before placing seventh overall in the regular season.
The women qualified as a team for the ITC/ISC sectional championships during their first season, bowling in New Jersey over spring break. “This group of women has accomplished so much in a year; it is unbelievable when I stop and reflect,” Coach Bartalone says. “They have all stepped up individually to create a competitive environment, yet a constructive and fun culture thrives in our Wolf Pack.”
Men’s Bowling Team
The men were third at the West Michigan Laker Classic and wound up ninth during regular season action in WHAC competition. The team also took five bowlers to the ITC/ISC sectional championships to bowl as individuals.
“The men’s program overcame a lot of adversity with personalities and different backgrounds this season,” says Coach Bartalone. “They have done an outstanding job as a team and have earned tons of respect amongst competitors as they most closely resemble a third-year program as opposed to a first-year team.”
Outstanding Bowlers & Teams
Individuals were recognized within the WHAC as well as Alyssa McCall from the women’s team who was named the league’s Bowler of the Week twice while the men’s team earned the honor four times. Tommy Gunter garnered the award three times while Corbin Garris picked up the first recognition in program history.
With a women’s team consisting entirely of freshmen and the men sporting all but two rookies, the program still has room to grow. The Gray Wolves look to build upon their success from the opening season for years to come with the goal of capturing a WHAC title on both the men’s and women’s side.