WATERLOO — From ‘Aw, Snap!’ to a ‘Marco! Polo!’ call and response, customized cheers have become second nature for the Waterloo East girls’ bowling team.
The Trojans returned everyone from last year’s squad that placed fourth in the Class 2A state meet. They’re once again looking like contenders to add some buzz inside Waterloo’s Cadillac XBC if they can punch a return ticket to state in the second year their house has served as the tournament venue.
East’s girls surpassed their season average of 2,755 that ranks first in 2A with a 2,781-2,446 win over Cedar Falls Friday night in the final dual before postseason play begins.
A Cedar Falls boys team that barely missed a trip to state a season ago also figures to be in the mix to return to Cadillac XBC for the state meet. The Tiger boys outscored East by a 3,037-2,580 total.
East’s Ashlee Snapp was the lone girl to be honored on Friday’s senior recognition night within her still youthful team. Hawkeye Community College’s first bowling scholarship commit, Snapp was part of the only girls’ team from East in any sport to win a state championship when the Trojans took home a title her freshman season.
East added a second-place state finish Snapp’s sophomore year and was fourth with a new wave of girls contributing on last year’s team.
“We’ve grown a lot together,” Snapp said. “Knowing that nobody left has brought us together as a group.”
Snapp opened her final regular-season home dual strong with a 213 game, while teammate Abbie Williams – an individual state runner-up last season – recorded scores of 218 and 181 for a 399 series. Stephanie Burge’s 210 second game boosted her to a 376 series for an East team that recorded an 1,845 score during the individual portion.
In the baker round, East tallied a high game of 220 and finished with a five-game series of 935.
“We didn’t have a lot of big scores as individual sets, but as a team they did really well,” East coach Mike Weber said.
The Trojans’ coach has seen his girls recover from a little slide at the beginning of January. East’s boys and girls will compete Tuesday in the state-qualifying meet at Decorah.
“The last few meets have been really good,” Weber said. “We need to just continue that on through substate and bring it all together for state.”
Similar to East, Cedar Falls’ girls bowled above their season average Friday. Junior Sofia Munoz led all individuals with a 406 series (216-190).
The Cedar Falls boys are a hungry group after missing last year’s state meet. Their score of 3,037 was another step toward the team’s goal of finishing with a season average above 3,000.
Sophomore Ryan Venem was one of three Cedar Falls bowlers to record a 400 series with a 435 (223-212). His older brother, Matt, opened with a 235 game that included eight consecutive strikes down the stretch.
Jackson Gilbert (418) and Anthony Holman (402) were the other leaders for Cedar Falls on this night.
The Tigers will host Tuesday’s qualifying meet at Maple Lanes. They enter state with a scoring average that sits seventh in Class 3A. A Waterloo West team that ranks second in scoring average will also be competing at the familiar venue.
“Our guys are locked in right where they need to be,” Cedar Falls coach Brad Baker said. “They’re ready to go, just making sure we’re getting a few things cleaned up and making sure we’re on our coverable spares and consistent out of our hand every time.
“Having it at Maple is going to be a great advantage for us. West is going to be amazing there, and it’s going to be fun to see how we compete with them.”
This meet marked a memorable occasion for East’s boys. Six seniors were placed together in the varsity lineup. Braden Schmit was one pin back of Cedar Falls’ Ryan Venem for the high series at 434 (190-244).
“That was a pretty cool thing to get done,” Weber said, addressing his Senior Night lineup. “A couple of them aren’t normally on varsity, but they were right around the average. I’m glad they had a blast and they did well.”
CED. FALLS 3,037, WAT. EAST 2,780
CEDAR FALLS (11-10) – Anthony Holman 211-191 – 402, Jackson Gilbert 184-234 – 418, Matt Venem 235-142 – 378, Ryan Venem 223-212 – 435, Nick Helmes 211-163 – 374. Baker rotation: 203-238-198-179-212 – 1,030.
WATERLOO EAST (7-15) – Plu Reh 140-153 – 293, Braden Schmit 190-244 – 434, Michael Ginther 101-195 – 296, Dylan Andreassen 197-155 – 352, Austin Snyder 176-139 – 315. Baker rotation: 184-192-171-220-168 – 890.
WAT. EAST 2,781, CED. FALLS 2,446
CEDAR FALLS (9-14) – Hailey Taylor 149-187 – 336, Sofia Munoz 216-190 – 406, Jewell Alley 113-172 – 285, Lexie Williams 191-179 – 370, Katie Waltz 122-148 – 270. Baker rotation: 203-238-198-179-212 – 779.
WATERLOO EAST (18-6) – Malorie Cary 179-184 – 363, Stephanie Burge 166-210 – 376, Ashlee Snapp 213-158 – 371, Soleil Morgan 156-181 – 337, Abbie Williams 218-181 – 399. Baker rotation: 184-192-171-220-168 – 935.