Bowling | Graphic by Bethany Althauser | The Wright State Guardian
In its second season as an NCAA program, the Wright State University women’s bowling team has seen improvements over the year and are excited for the remainder of this season.
Last year, the Raiders finished the season with a 35-47 overall record and secured three first-place finishes.
Head Coach Jeff Fleck is currently in his 18th season at WSU, coaching the club team prior to the NCAA transition last year. Fleck has noticed a shift with his team this year and believes they are making the right progressions as a unit.
“Last year was a big change from club world to NCAA world, so it was a little overwhelming,” Fleck mentioned. “I think they are getting more comfortable with the process and all the tools available to them to make them stronger students and athletes.”
The Raiders currently sit at 13-13 on the season, earning three first-place finishes.
The first top finish came in early October when WSU’s ‘Gold’ group won first place, knocking nearly 100 pins more than the second-place finisher. The ‘Green’ group secured second place in the same event.
The second came in the Orange and Black Classic, where the Gold group secured first place, and the Green group secured third place. Graduate student Alex Drsek finished second among all bowlers in the classic, averaging over 192 pinfalls per match. Drsek’s second-place finish marks the only top-five finish for all Raiders this season.
“I really just felt like all of my hard work has paid off, between going to practice and putting in the work outside of practice,” Drsek said. “This year has definitely been my favorite year because it’s the most consistent moving on from last year.”
The third top finish the Raiders earned was Ohio Bowling Conference Event 2, where the Raiders finished on top with 18 teams in the mix.
A new face
Though the team has gotten more comfortable and familiar with the system in place, they now have an additional assistant on the team. Alyssa Hatton returned to WSU to coach after bowling for the program from 2014 to 2018. During her time at WSU, she became a four-time Collegiate Academic All-American. Majoring in psychology, Hatton is able to assist the team on the mental side of things and push the team to bowl at its best level.
“It has made all the girls more comfortable on the team working together because they know if they have a problem, they have someone there to talk to,” WSU’s Makenzie Gossett stated. “Also, it just added another coach at practice. If you have a question, it is a quicker answer now rather than having to wait to find that answer.”
The Raider Classic was held this past Saturday and Sunday at Poelking Woodman Lanes. The Classic is the lone event the Raiders host on the season and serves as a safe space for the team.
“I am amped for this weekend because we are so much more comfortable to go into the alley that we bowl two days a week,” Gossett added. “We won last year. We know we can do it again this year, and to just know that all of our fans will be there to support us will help us get through.”
The Raiders claimed first place in last year’s Raider Classic, the first tournament victory the team earned as an NCAA program.
The Raiders also auctioned gift baskets along with 50-50 raffles to help raise funds for the team.
As the season rolls on, the Raiders look to continue building on the successes they have found this season. The team placed first in the Raider Classic on Nov. 11 and 12. The team’s next event is on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Ohio Bowling Conference Event 3 in Columbus.