DEKALB — Rochelle freshman Alyssa Mickley was shocked to hear her name called as an at-large sectional qualifier during the IHSA Sycamore Regional at Mardi Gras Lanes this past Saturday.
Mickley knocked down 1,006 pins over six games to place 28th out of 67 bowlers and qualify for the IHSA Rockford Jefferson Sectional at Don Carter Lanes this coming Saturday. Mickley edged out Kaneland’s Alexis Vittal by three pins for the 10th and final at-large qualifying spot. Rochelle finished 11th out of 12 teams with 3,643 pins.
“My teammates were telling me that they knew I could do it,” Mickley said. “I was pretty shocked when everything happened… I’m going to make sure I stay positive at the sectional and not get down on myself if I miss my shots.”
Mickley began the tournament with one of her best three-game performances of her freshman season, rolling 191, 215 and 159 during the first half of competition for a 565 series. The Lady Hub bowler was ranked 13th individually with three games remaining on the afternoon.
“I made sure I was throwing my strike ball really well and I was concentrating hard on picking up my spares,” Mickley said. “I made sure I was looking at my mark, and I was throwing the ball where I wanted to.”
A slow start to Mickley’s second three-game series (116) meant she needed to throw back-to-back solid games to have a chance at qualifying for the sectional. The freshman tossed 157 and 168 for a 441 series to close out the tournament, and despite a tough fourth game, Mickley said that encouragement from head coach Joey Johanning helped her stay positive.
“I was getting pretty upset by how I was bowling, but my family and my teammates were encouraging me to try doing my best,” Mickley said. “Joey talked to me after the game, and he was making me laugh which helped me bounce back.”
Freshman Alyssa Schwanert placed 40th with a score of 803 and a high game of 157. Senior Autumn Headon finished 44th overall with 781 pins and a high game of 150.