ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub varsity bowling team celebrated Senior Night on Tuesday with an Interstate 8 Conference match against Ottawa. Five seniors were recognized including Sergio Guevara, Devansh Patel, Luke Orlikowski, Max Orlikowski and Johnavon Hueramo.
“Our seniors, especially Sergio and Devansh, have meant everything for us,” head coach Jim Lyles said. “Sergio really helped build our program up from when he came in as a freshman. We had very few bowlers on the team and he went out and recruited kids to join our team.”
Rochelle and Ottawa split the first two games on Tuesday, with the Pirates edging the Hubs by 20 pins in the third and final game to take the series 2,839-2,790. Patel fired a team-high 586 series for the Hubs (2-11, 1-6 Interstate 8), while Guevara finished with a 526 series. Behind 206 from Nelson Brandt, Ottawa defeated Rochelle 987-917 in the first game of the match.
“I think we’re in a good spot as a team,” Lyles said. “I went back and looked at our averages when we started the season and I think the kids were really surprised with how much they’ve improved since then. I think we’re ready to go to the conference meet and the regional meet.”
The Hubs bounced back with a 989-948 victory during the second game, with Patel shooting a match-best 245 to lead the team and Guevara rolling 194. Rochelle trailed Ottawa by 29 pins entering the third game, which the Pirates claimed 904-884 to seal the series victory. Junior Evin Odle scored 176 and Guevara added 172 to lead Rochelle in the final game of the meet.
The Hubs will conclude the week with a road match against Kaneland on Wednesday and a home match against Geneseo on Thursday. Rochelle will then travel for the Interstate 8 Conference Championship meet at the Illinois Valley Super Bowl next Tuesday before competing in the IHSA Sterling Regional at Paone’s Blackhawk Lanes on Saturday, Jan. 15.
“Our spares will be the key for us,” Lyles said. “We strike enough but we have to pick up our spares. When we pick up our spares, we have to make sure we’re getting good count during the next frame. We’ve struggled in that area this season and that’s not good for our scores.”