PHS girls win state bowling title

SCHOFIELD – Plymouth captured the Division 2 girls team championship in the Wisconsin High School Bowling Club State Tournament, held here Friday through Sunday.

The title is the Panthers’ third in the past five years. PHS also won state titles in 2009 and 2011.

Plymouth beat defending state champion Amherst impressively in the title match, 437-365, which included two games. PHS finished third in the qualifying round. The top-five teams in qualifying advance to the stepladder finals.

In match 2 of the finals, the Panthers rolled past La Crosse Central, 402-337. PHS then downed Burlington, 393-336, in match 3 to advance to the title match.

The members of the PHS squad include seniors Steph Winkel and Sierra Arneson, juniors Lindsey McCabe and Angela Strege, sophomores Tiara Liebe and Rachel Anderson, freshman Courtney Diedrich and coaches Bob Liebe (Tiara’s father) and Mike Winkel (Steph’s father).

Winkel and Liebe also competed in the girls singles competition which included divisions 1 and 2. Winkel earned second place – falling to Bradford’s Amanda Vanduyn in the one-game championship match, 225-200.

Winkel led the field through the semifinals with a score of 1,291 which included three-game series of 630 in the qualifying round and 661 in the semifinals. She advanced directly to the championship match because she finished first in the semifinals.

Liebe qualified for the semifinals where she finished 14th with a total of 1,073 (570 series in qualifying and 503 in semifinals). The top-five girls in the semifinals move on to the stepladder finals.

“We’re a young team and to be able to compete and beat Amherst was an outstanding achievefensive ment. I’m very proud of the team,” said coach Liebe.

“The girls played together so well and really supported each other. It was just focus and concentrating on their spots, and the spare-making was huge.

“Steph and Tiara did very well [in singles]. They were both very focused. It was a huge accomplishment for Steph to make it to the top five,” said Liebe (Tiara’s father).

“I don’t want to downplay what Steph and Tiara accomplished at the state meet against the best bowlers in the entire state but they will also tell you that this season was all about our team.

“All of our girls contributed greatly throughout the entire season to get to the final goal of bringing home the state championship trophy,” said coach Liebe.

“The girls averaged 205 through six games of match play and 218 in the championship match against the returning state champs. Doing that in that setting, with a tough oil pattern [on the lanes], a large crowd and TV lights is absolutely amazing.”

The coach said the team’s rally cry was, “Gimme 10 in the Pit,” meaning scoring a strike.

Winkel, a member of the state title time in 2011, was the only player on this year’s team with previous state experience.

The PHS team expressed thanks to Dan and Linda Schmitt, owners of Anchor Lanes in Elkhart Lake; Steve Steinpreis from the Anchor Lanes pro shop, and Tony Barber for their support throughout the season. Anchor Lanes is the PHS bowling club’s home bowling center.

Cody Schmitt, an Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah student, competed in the D-2 boys singles event. Schmitt bowled a 474 series in the qualifying round and didn’t advance to the semifinals.

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