This past Saturday, the Oberlin bowling team hosted a tournament at College Lanes against powerhouse squads from Kent State University, the University of Akron and Lorain County Community College. After disappointing finishes at recent tournaments at the Michigan State and Kent State, the Oberlin bowlers were not prepared to be outplayed on their home turf. Instead, they came to win, dazzling the competition with their impressive technique and their colorful, personalized team uniforms. Led by fifth-year senior Greg Akagi and juniors Jonathan Stoper and Adam Fuller, the outmanned Yeomen could not match the point totals amassed by Kent State's A-team and the University of Akron, but they did manage to avoid the cellar for the first time this year, beating L.C.C.C.. and Kent State's B-team handily en route to a third place finish.
Tournament organizer and bowling coach Tom Reid seemed satisfied with his team's efforts. "I'm real pleased," he said. "At the Michigan tournament, the women finished second and the men finished last. This time, we were right in the thick of the competition.
"Jon Stoper, who has been one of the better bowlers on the team for the last few years, had a terrific day. What's really impressive about his performance is that the players had to change lanes and face different oil conditions on each lane. And he made all the necessary adjustments."
Stoper, who had the highest single game score of the tournament with an impressive 252, helped the men to stay competitive throughout the day. When all was said and done, he tallied 1001 points, good for sixth place among all leading scorers.
"I feel that my performance should be dedicated to the Dude of the Big Lebowski," Stoper said. "Without him, I never would have thought to drink all those white russians before the tournament. And I think they were the direct cause of my good bowling.
"I was also touched by the fans who came out to watch us roll," he continued. "I couldn't believe they abandoned their Shabbat duties to cheer me on. I hope they don't rot in Hell or anything like that."
For their part, the Yeowomen also enjoyed a fine day at the lanes, capturing first place among all women's teams. "We kicked ass," said junior Ali McDowell. "The other teams will not be able to sit down for weeks."
Despite a tough bout with illness, senior Joanna Katz delivered a characteristically strong performance, bowling her team's highest game with a 165, "The room is spinning, and I'm still having fun," she said. "I almost beat my high score, but didn't. I did get a turkey, though."
Diane McDowell, who traveled all the way from Newark, Del., to see her daughter bowl for the Yeowomen, found the experience to be quite rewarding. "The tournament was more exciting than I thought it would be," she said. "It was very interesting. Everyone was very friendly, and I had a good time."
Although the Oberlin bowling team has competed in their last tournament of the season, they will continue to practice their strokes in preparation for next year. And if Saturday's tournament serves as any indication, the future looks bright.
Don't mess with the Jesus: OC bowlers put on their game faces in preparation for Saturday's contest against the University of Akron, Kent State and L.C.C.C. (photo by Daniel Romano)
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 22, April 30, 1999
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