FAIRBORN — Fairborn varsity bowling coach Eric Mrenak’s goal is to use the early season matches to get his boys and girls teams into tournament shape. With each frame thrown, he hopes his bowlers will be able to adjust to the playing conditions, and change gears whenever they can.
In Tuesday’s Miami Valley League matches between the host Skyhawks and visiting Troy Trojans, Mrenak’s teams had to adjust to some rare lane difficulties.
His undefeated girls team adjusted quite well.
The boys? Not as much.
The girls remained unbeaten with a 2,131 to 1,844 win, while the Fairborn boys faltered in a 2,263-2,096 loss.
“The guys’ scores were a little bit lower than usual,” Mrenak said. “We had some struggles with some different things today. … We just lost our mental focus there for a little bit, but we started to negate that more toward the second game. Then we carried that momentum into the Baker games, too.”
During the opening rounds of bowling, a group of the varsity boys teams had to be moved from a pair of lanes that had inadvertently shut down during the match. That’s definitely a “different thing,” for his bowlers to adjust to, and it’s a rarity at Bowl 10 Lanes, which hosts a professional PBA50 Seniors Tour event each year.
Kyle Donaldson rolled a 183-203 — 386 series to lead the Skyhawks boys, and Logan Cherpeski rolled a 380 series in the opening rounds. Fairborn’s boys trailed by 220 pins as the teams headed into the Baker games. They won both of the Baker games (where each bowler on the five-person team alternates bowling a frame), but couldn’t make up the extensive deficit.
In the girls matches, Natalie Hanson led Fairborn with a 194-231 — 425 series, and Samantha Eichman rolled a 379 series to start things off well for the Skyhawks. The girls had almost a 200-pin lead after the opening games, then won both Baker contests to claim their win.
Troy’s Kayleigh McMullen led all girls bowlers with a 242-190 — 432 series.
Fairborn’s boys closed out their first Baker game with five consecutive strikes; then the girls ended their second Baker game in similar fashion with four strikes.
Bowl 10 ran a ticker across the bottom of the score monitors wishing Troy coach Rob Dever a Happy 60th Birthday.
“I thought I had stopped revealing my age on Facebook. Guess not,” he chuckled.
“Our team’s been improving all year long, but we knew Fairborn had a really good girls team coming in. We knew we had to do our best, and hope that the Fairborn girls did less than their best, if we could pull off a win,” Dever, who coaches Troy’s girls team, said. “Fairborn’s got a really nice team. We had a nice first game, but kinda fell apart in the second. You just can’t do that against good teams.”
Dever didn’t see the Trojans boys roll, but noted they went to the state tourney a season ago. “If they keep improving like they are, they’re gonna have another shot at getting back to state, I think,” he said.
Drew Snurr led the victorious Troy boys with a 199-247 — 446 series.
Fairborn’s girls are now 4-0 overall, and in Miami Valley League play, while the boys are now 2-2 in both. According to the MVLathletics.com website, the Skyhawks’ next match will take place at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13 against Riverside Stebbins, at Pla-Mor Lanes.
Troy’s boys remain undefeated in league play at 4-0. They’re 4-2 for the season. The Trojan girls are 2-2 in league play, 2-4 overall. Both Troy squads will next take on Fort Loramie at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9 at Community Lanes.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.