As usual, Sewanhaka District was well-represented at the state bowling tournament. As usual, the hip-hop music was blaring from their hotel rooms (perhaps loud enough to be heard halfway back to Long Island).
The usuals were there -- but this time they brought the whole crew. "The party is more fun with everyone here," Danielle Roca said with a chuckle.
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Sophomore stars Kristina Genova, Rebecca Gotterbarn and Roca, since seventh grade, have made the trips upstate a routine, qualifying for Sectional All-Star tournaments. But after years of playing bridesmaid in the Nassau championship tournament, "all-star" status no longer provided much solace.
"I'm glad that we finally won [counties] and got up here as a team," said Gotterbarn, whose 221 average led Nassau. "Having everyone up makes it easier because we all support each other."
They went 12-0 in the regular season and won a county title. Given the team's young core, the common belief was the Indians had time on their side. But for seniors Geri-Lynn Roth and Amanda Esteves, the trip north came just in time.
"I've come so close in the past that it was frustrating," Esteves said of her finishes team-wise and individually. She was edged by Genova in the 2010 individual tournament, just missing the final all-star spot. "This was finally our year."
Sewanhaka District took third in yesterday's state tournament, its best finish ever. For Esteves, though, it was as good as gold.
"I'm not disappointed at all," said Esteves, who shot a 992. "It was our goal to get here, and I capped my career with a medal in states. Can't ask for more."