Long Island girls bowling preview
The last two Nassau girls championship tournaments have amounted to a late-afternoon showdown between Division and Sewanhaka District. Twice, Division held on to win, and each time the Indians' solace was, "We'll get 'em next year."
And with a young core, time has been on Sewanhaka's side. Sophomore stars Rebecca Gotterbarn, Danielle Roca and Kristina Genova have Sewanhaka District believing "next year" is now. Amanda Esteves, and Geri Lynn and Morgan Roth bolster a talented roster.
Division is led by Samantha Weissman and Theresa O'Neill, but after three consecutive undefeated seasons, the Blue Dragons now begin a rebuilding phase. "We'll get better as we go," coach Joanne Byrne said. "Our goal now is to make counties."
Hicksville could be among the elite with Jackie Foran and talented sophomore Stephanie Thilbourg. Clarke is solid with Jessica Spindell and Jen Raichel. Meaghan Gratta and Danielle Tuthill lead East Meadow, and Meghan Wing and Emily Reisert could have Plainedge in contention.
Wantagh (Valerie Chin) and Massapequa (Danielle Giorgio) are in the mix, and Freeport (Rebekah Cruz and Giselle Ortiz) continues to make strides. Carle Place could be a sleeper with Leanne Iannucci and Dhara Kadakia, the winner of last year's individual tournament.
It's not just that East Islip won last year's Suffolk title with a record 6,428 pinfall and took third in the state tournament. More impressive is that they did it with one senior and a bevy of underclassmen. The Redmen return loaded, led by All-Long Island Nancy Baione (218.4), Lena Sorrentino and Kelsey Fryer, along with Kristina Freitag, Jordan Kruger and Courtney McGinn.
Middle Country, which features stars Melissa Sherwin and Kelly Skalacki, could return to its championship form of 2009 with the emergence of Amanda Tyrell and Brooke Kelsey.
Jessica Calandra (206.5) leads Patchogue-Medford, last year's county runner-up. Commack, which took third, is led by Talia Cohen and Jacqueline Castelli.
Comsewogue, looking to build on last year's fourth-place finish, returns standouts Deanna Clark, Heather Consorte and Emily Clark. Longwood is led by Brianna Meyer (216.8) and Kylie Spillett.
Sachem East, with Jessica Caruana, Islip (Lori Greenblatt and Lindsay Abram), North Babylon (Abigail Casale) and Sachem North (Kaycie Gamblin) are in the mix.
Defending CHSAA champ St. John the Baptist returns with its roster mostly intact. They're led by league MVP Caroline Herrera, Kaitlyn Coon and twins Colleen and Katie DeGraff.
Kellenberg, a finalist the last three years, is led by Mary-Catherine Zehnder, Jennifer Proscia and Megan O'Keefe. St. Dominic, in its inaugural season, introduced itself by winning its first three matches. The Bayhawks are led by Taylor Lubrano and Sabrina Gordek.
Jessica Reiszel and Jessica Haverlin could have St. Anthony's in contention. Holy Trinity, the 2009 champ, is led by Geraldine Genovese and Sabrina Crispyn.
Girls bowling players to watch
Melissa Sherwin, Middle Country, Jr.
Rebecca Gotterbarn, Sewanhaka District, So.
Nancy Baione, East Islip, Sr.
Jessica Calandra, Patchogue-Medford, Jr.
Meghan Wing, Plainedge, Jr.