Led by freshman Olivia Zinanni’s six-game series of 1,199, the Sterling girls bowling team advanced to the state meet with a fourth-place finish Saturday at the LaSalle-Peru Sectional at the Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru.
Sterling knocked down 5,631 pins, ahead of fifth-place Rock Island’s 5,578.
After the morning session, the Golden Warriors were in fourth place with a score of 2,943, but their scores dropped after that to finish with 255 fewer pins in the afternoon.
Sterling will advance to the state meet on Friday at the Cherry Bowl in Rockford. The Golden Warriors advanced for the 12th time in program history.
“We talked about this the first practice of the year, and it was our goal,” Sterling coach Loren Wolf said.
“Things started out slow, and we’ve just been building for the last couple of weeks. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to go.”
Zinanni rolled a high of 234 in the third game, and rolled a 223 in the second game. Fellow freshman Grace Schultz finished with a 1,182 series, with a high of 211 in the fifth game.
Kyleigh Glazier rolled Sterling’s highest game, a 236 in the second game, and finished third among Golden Warriors with a 1,132.
Zoey Paone finished with a 1,067 and a 187 high game, and Alivia Salmon rolled a 1,051 and a 203 high game.
Two weeks ago, Sterling won its first postseason championship since 2012. Knowing his team had enough skill to advance farther, Wolfe had been stressing the mental game lately.
“We’re there, but just had a lack of focus,” Wolfe said.
Lincoln-Way West won the sectional with a score of 6,016, 21 pins ahead of runner-up Minooka. Katie Orisek of Yorkville was the individual champion with a 1,415, capped with a perfect game in the finale.
Duchesses’ season ends at sectionals: Led by Annie Hantke’s 1,208 series, Dixon finished in sixth place Saturday at the Kaneland Sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.
The Duchesses score of 5,621 missed the team cut by two spots.
Hantke, who ended the morning session with a 638 series, rolled Dixon’s highest game of 235 in the afternoon finale. Melissa Bates rolled a 601 in the afternoon session and finished third among the Duchesses with a 1,149, behind Hantke and Allison Bay (1,181).
Alyssa Bonnette rolled a 1,063, peaking with a 194 in the third game; and Riley Kavanaugh rolled a 1,020, with a 212 in the fourth game.
Oregon’s Rebecca Meyers was 35 pins short of the final qualifying spot with 1,210 pins. Caitlyn Kaltenbrun rolled games of 223, 200 and 212 to finish with a total of 1,202, and Sammantha Meyers had a pinfall of 970.
Harlem won the sectional championship with 6,497 pins, and also had the individual champion as Treasure Childs edged Sycamore’s Megan Kolberg 1,377-1,375.