By: Andrew Smith
Women’s bowling continues to compete at a high level and has high hopes once again for the current season. Kristen Derr, a senior exercise science major who has been a member of this team for the past three years, is playing a major role in their hopes to reach regionals and win a championship.
The Sunbury, Pennsylvania resident reflected on how her family played a role in her love for the game. “My family has owned a bowling center since I was two, and ever since then, they have influenced my love for the sport. My dad was also my coach,” she said.
Having her father as a coach growing up allowed Derr to always be surrounded by the game she came to love. She said he served as a strong role model and gave her inspiration to continue to play the game.
Another role model is Danielle McEwan, who is currently a competitor on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) and a member of the U.S. National Team. Derr said McEwan’s personality inspired her to be her best. “I look up to her because of how humble she is and how strong her mental game is. She is also my favorite bowler.”
Derr also reflected on what her favorite memory has been during her time as an Adelphi Panther. She was selected to the East Coast Conference (ECC) All-Tournament Team in 2021–an honorable distinction and one she is proud of. She said she was able to accomplish this remarkable goal through hard work and the support of her family and coaches.
Derr also addressed the current season and the state of the bowling team. “This season holds a lot of promise. We are a strong, united team that can compete with the top teams in the nation. I would say it’s going to be a dark horse season,” she said. “We’ve started slow but you’ve only seen a glimpse of our potential. We need to keep ourselves focused and remember what our long-term goal is: winning ECCS and making it to NCAA regionals.”
Recently, Derr was named Panther of the Week. Every week, Adelphi Athletics spotlights two athletes who have worked hard, and deserve recognition for their dedication to their team. She commented on her reaction when she found out. “I am very honored and grateful to have been recognized by the school as athlete of the week. It really was a surprise and I am very honored to have been recognized.”
Head Coach Dennis Kearney also shared his thoughts on how important Derr is to the roster and the role she plays. “Kristen is a fierce competitor. Athletes like her come along every few years that are essentially a game changer on the lanes during competition. Kristen’s bowling IQ is second to none and I expect a huge year from her as she starts her senior season. Kristen is the type of teammate that can lift the team up with one clutch strike in the tenth frame as well.”
Kearney added, “She shows the tenacity and willingness to want to be the best at all times which translates to being the ultimate competitive athlete. Kristen has been a pleasure to coach on and off the lanes and I expect big things from her beyond Adelphi University.”
Women’s bowling continues to play well and compete this season, since they have the talent and drive to make it happen. Meanwhile, Derr will continue to play a major role in the team’s success as a whole.