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Cailin Cleary, Victoria Nowak lead Plainedge to bowling win

Plainedge's Cailin Cleary during the Nassau High School

Plainedge's Cailin Cleary during the Nassau High School girls bowling match between Division and Plainedge at South Levittown Lanes in Levittown, New York on Jan. 9, 2017. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Plainedge seniors Cailin Cleary and Victoria Nowak only started bowling competitively together as freshmen, but the duo’s friendship dates back to the softball field when the two were in grade school.

“Victoria and I have known each other since kindergarten and have been playing softball together for the past nine years,” Cleary said. “She is like a sister to me . . . It is great to have someone by your side that you can trust to help you out with anything.”

In Monday’s 599-519, 558-435, 577-439 win over Division in Nassau Conference VII, Cleary rolled a high game of 205 in the first game of a 515 series to lead Plainedge (5-4). Nowak rolled a high game of 168 in Game 1.

“Having a close friend like Cailin on the team allows us to work on our skills together,” Nowak said. “It is nice knowing that there is always someone there to pick you up when you are down and it is truly bittersweet knowing that we only have two matches left together this season.”

Cleary is the anchor for Plainedge and has had a very strong season thus far. Earlier in the year, she rolled a 206 in the third game of a 562 series against Bellmore-Merrick.

“This year I have been bowling a lot during weekends and on holiday breaks,” Cleary said. “I definitely have seen an improvement as I continue to practice and work on my game. I know that the more I bowl, the better my game will be.”

Cleary, who currently holds a 162.3 average, will need to maintain above a 160 average in her last two matches to qualify for the individual county championships on February 11.

Plainedge faces Bellmore-Merrick on Wednesday, and then next week again.

“When I was a freshman I did not even know that there was counties for individuals,” Nowak said. “As the years have progressed I have tried to improve my game every year and make it to the counties. I hope that by the end of the year, Cailin and I will be able to do that.”


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