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Marissa Mele helps Seaford top Division in girls bowling opener

Marissa Mele of Seaford celebrates with teammates after

Marissa Mele of Seaford celebrates with teammates after rolling a strike in a Nassau girls bowling match against Division at Levittown Lanes on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Credit: James Escher

The Seaford girls bowling team will let Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz click her heels three times.

The Vikings prefer the toe tap -- where two teammates tap the toes of their shoes -- after every strike, converted spare, or big shot.

"We didn’t want to touch hands," Sofia Sanchez said, "so we decided toe taps would be the best way to go."

For Dorothy, there was no place like home. For Seaford, there was no place like South Levittown Lanes on Monday -- the first day of winter high school sports competition.

Seaford, which has won three straight Nassau Division II (small schools) titles, defeated defending Nassau I (large schools) champ, Division, 8-3.

The Vikings dropped the first game, 696-629, but rallied to win Game 2 (631-535) and Game 3 (701-584). Seaford also took the final two points for top wood (1,961-1,815).

Seaford’s Marissa Mele led the way with games of 211, 188, and 167 for a 566 series. Nicole Karaman had a 202 in Game 3 of a 553 series. Sanchez also saved her best for last with a 181 in Game 3 of a 469 series. Eighth grader Ava Caruso, who has a 110 average, rolled a 151 in Game 3 for the Vikings.

Brillian Soedarmasto led Division with games of 247, 159, and 185 for a 591 series. Erica DeJesus had a 168 in Game 1 for the Blue Dragons.

Safety was held at a premium at the bowling alley. There were plexiglass partitions between lanes. Each team had six bowlers (only the top 4 scores counted per game), and three girls sat on two lanes, side-by-side. However, the two teams were four lanes apart during competition and there were no spectators. Welcome to high school bowling in the time of COVID-19.

"We love having our parents and fans here," Sanchez said, "but we’re trying to make the best of it."

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