With the certificates and plaques she has accumulated, and the level of awe with which competitors speak in describing her game, it comes as little surprise that Kristina Etergineoso is the best bowler on her team.
Uh . . . that would be the Sayville boys team.
The senior's 218.13 average was the second-best among Long Island girls this season, and the seventh-highest ever. But Etergineoso's numbers, technically, are held to comparison against the boys. In which case, her average was good enough for 12th in Suffolk.
In any regard -- and against any gender -- the girl can bowl.
"Over the years, I've seen some guys on other teams get upset about losing to me," said Etergineoso, who is headed to Adelphi on a bowling scholarship. "But on my team, it wasn't awkward at all. I tried to be a leader and a role model for the girls and boys."
Etergineoso was among more than 30 girls in Suffolk county on boys bowling teams last season. Girls are allowed to compete with the boys at schools that don't have girls bowling teams. Etergineoso is joined by Alyssa Klassert and Caitlyn Capozucca on the 11-person Sayville squad.
Etergineoso has been on the team since her freshman year, and the last two seasons the All-Long Islander has been its star. Alex Henry's 201.5 was second best for the Golden Flashes.
"I took a lot of pride in that -- a girl being the anchor bowler and captain of a team," said Etergineoso, who began bowling at age 8. "It's a higher level of competition against the boys, but that made me want to succeed even more, to prove that it could be done."