ROCKFORD — Senior bowler Kenzie Liezert fired five strikes over her first six frames to roll a season-best 212 in the fifth game of the IHSA Rockford East Regional at Don Carter Lanes on Saturday. It was a new career-best score for Liezert, who showed consistency throughout the tournament and finished with a 1,069 series to qualify for the IHSA Sycamore Sectional.
“I threw a lot of strikes and I picked up my spares,” Liezert said. “I was picking up my spares in my previous games, but I wasn’t getting as many strikes. I started the 212 game with three strikes and that really boosted myself up. I was really proud of myself because there were a lot of things I wanted to accomplish during the time we were bowling. I was really proud of how our team did, especially considering the teams we were up against. We all bowled really well.”
Liezert was one of two individuals on the Rochele Lady Hub varsity bowling team who earned at-large qualifying berths for the sectional tournament, which will be held at Mardi Gras Lanes on Saturday, Feb. 10. Junior Cassidy Vincent fired an 1,167 series to finish seventh overall and lead the Lady Hubs (10-6, 6-4 Interstate 8) to fifth place out of 13 teams in the regional meet. Vincent will be making her third sectional appearance, while Liezert will be making her second.
“It was one of my biggest goals during the high school season and for it to be my third year too, it made me really happy,” Vincent said. “I was really confident all day and I was comfortable. I was able to read the lanes for most of the day and I was really good about pacing myself. That helped me keep my numbers higher for most of the day. I’m a lot less sheltered now and I know what to expect. I know the competition will be better and I can control my emotions a lot better.”
Liezert opened the tournament with a 549 series over the first three games, rolling consecutive scores of 178, 197 and 174. The senior, who helped the Lady Hubs reach sectionals as a team last season, bowed out with a 520 series over the final three games, which included scores of 158, 212 and 150. Rochelle concluded the regional tournament with a final score of 5,062.
“Having a positive attitude really helped me,” Liezert said. “Everybody was in a good mood and I was in a good mood, so that definitely helped me stay up. I also had good energy, which helped me because I tend to get extremely tired throughout the tournament… I’m looking forward to the experience because we made it as a team last season and it’s just Cassidy and I this time, so it’ll be interesting to see how everything is set up. I’m also excited to meet new people.”
Vincent bowled a 612 series over her first three games, throwing back-to-back scores of 212 and 215 before cooling off with a 185. The junior cracked open a series-best 234 in the fourth round and concluded the tournament with scores of 151 and 170 to seal a sectional bid.
Senior Anahi Alanis finished 32nd overall with a 978 series and a high score of 182, while sophomore Kylie McCullough took 33rd overall with a 975 series and a high score of 189. Senior Faith Adams rounded out the Rochelle lineup with an 863 series and a 174 high score.