by Emily Catuccio, Kendra Syphers, Dan Longtin
The sound of striking pins and screaming children echo through the Yankee Lanes bowling alley in Keene. Over by the right hand lanes, however, 14 bowlers are doing sit ups. It’s the Franklin Pierce Women’s bowling team.
They’re dressed in their matching uniforms, black t-shirts with the familiar maroon words and white outline that read “Franklin Pierce University.”
Earlier in the afternoon, junior Jessica Marcure called out, “Nikki, show them your strike line.”
Junior Nikki Vucak, stood before the line and released the ball, sending it down the lane towards the pins. Not exactly a strike with four pins standing.
“That’s what we call her strike line, she throws the ball a certain way and the goal is a strike,” said Marcure. “[A line] determines how the players throw the ball.”
Even though there were four pins standing, Jess still high-fives Nikki and they laugh, until their coach, Kim Barit, gives them the side eye which they knew met to get back to business.
During the practice, the team had a goal to get 900 points collectively, and when they fell short, barely breaking 800, Barit made them get on the floor and do sit ups until she told them to stop.
Being in the top 20 in the country is a big accomplishment for the team and Berit makes sure the women are always focused in maintaining that status.
Berit started as the women’s bowling coach in October 2014. This is the team’s third collegiate season. “This year is one of our best seasons so far, we are back into a winning record ranked top 20 in the country,” said Berit. She hopes to improve to at least 19th in the next poll.
People think of bowling as something that you do for fun, but the Ravens believe, and work towards proving that bowling should get more recognition as a competitive college sport.
“No one really knows about bowling on the college level I think it deserves more recognition because if there were more college bowling teams around here there could be so many more youth programs,” said Marcure.
Berit absolutely agrees. “When people think of bowling they think of beers and a fun time, the sport of bowling in general whether it’s professional bowling or college bowling there’s so much more involved that a lot of people don’t normally see,” said Berit.
The team is hosting a conference championship from March 24th-26th at Yankee Lanes in Keene, NH hoping to let the public see how important bowling is as a professional sport.
“Anyone who wants to come is more than welcome to come, it’s free admission,” said Barit.