It’s taken them eight years, but behind the strength of three individual state qualifiers the Lady Mustangs will return to the state tournament this week after an exciting come-from-behind victory over Siegel Saturday at the Leisure Time Bowling Center.
After trailing the Lady Stars by two points after the first two rounds of the TSSAA Sectional Match, Walker Valley gave up just one point to the girls from Murfreesboro in the final game to punch their ticket to Smyrna.
“It was a close one all the way through. I was confident that as long as they stayed focused and picked up their spares that we had a strong chance of winning,” Walker Valley coach Dean Anderson proclaimed.
Going into the third game trailing Siegel 9-7, the Lady Mustangs were able to win five of the six heads up matches, plus earn the round’s pinfall bonus. Those seven points, plus the bonus points for the overall pinfall gave Walker Valley a 17-10 sub-state win.
“In the last game the girls really stepped up to the plate, came from behind and won. Picking up those spares was really the key to our victory,” Anderson stated.
Walker Valley led Siegel by a pinfall of 2,733-2,679 when things were all said and done.
Kara Davidson, who scored a point for the Lady Mustangs in each game, bowled a 543 series, with a high of 185 coming in the second game.
Alexis Rutledge bowled a 535 series, with her high pinfall of 201 coming in the final game, while Nicole Hartman bowled a 452 series, and had her high score of 170 in the first game.
Miia Thompson, who also earned her team a point in every game, bowled a 432 series, with a high of 155 coming in the final game.
Delana Jones bowled a 413 series and claimed a match point in the first game with her high of 159.
Megan Cavett bowled in the first and third game, for a total pinfall of 241 and won a vital match point in the final game.
The first game was split between Walker Valley and Siegel at three points apiece, but the Lady Stars’ led with a pinfall of 943-900 which gave them two match bonus points.
In the second game Siegel had four bowlers claim match points, but this time it was the Lady Mustangs who had the high pinfall, topping Siegel 874-846
Walker Valley’s performance on Saturday earned them their first trip to the state tournament since winning the state title back in 2005.
The Mustangs will host Smyrna in sectional competition at Leisure Time Bowling at 1 p.m. on Monday.
The Walker Valley boys were state semifinalist last year in their first-ever trip to the TSSAA state event.
Five Walker Valley bowlers — Davidson, Rutledge, Hartman, Britton Helton and Caleb Zanoska — will open play in the individual state tournament Thursday morning at the Smyrna Bowling Center before the team action begins on Friday.