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Coach's Confession: How the Bowling Team Continues to Succeed

By Andrew Smith

Bowling head coach Dennis Kearney.

Women’s bowling is on pace to make a run for the East Coast Conference Championship (ECC). The team was able to return from their winter break and win a tournament. Head coach Dennis Kearney has high hopes for the remainder of the season.

“We are in good shape to make a run for the East Coast Conference Championship (ECC),” he said. “The entire team has been contributing. This team is deep and there is strong unity amongst the players.”

Kearney is currently in his eighth season as the head coach of the women’s bowling team and led them in back-to-back ECC Championships for 2015-’16 and 2016-’17. He has also coached on the high school level for six years before joining the Panther community.

While the current team has a strong chance to win the championship this season, Covid-19 took away a chance in the past. Kearney said the pandemic affected the state of the team in the “worst way possible.” The women were on pace to contend for the ECC, but due to the pandemic the season was cut short. He emphasized his disappointment because he felt that the championship was taken away from his players. “The cancellation of the season really disrupted the swing of things and the flow of the team.”

Kearney talking with his players before a match.

By not playing for almost two seasons, the women’s bowling team had to come out strong in their return to play. Kearney highlighted the team leadership as a major point for how they were able to return to play in a successful way. He said that graduate student Skylar McGarrity and senior Megan Wehmeier were able to serve as role models and brought the team together during these hard times.

This season the women’s bowling team is demonstrating amazing potential to make another run at a championship. They have won several important tournaments to date. Kearney emphasized the idea of “flow” within the season after not having normalcy over the past two seasons due to the cancellation of games and tournaments.

Kearney stated, “Winning the tournament following the break was big for us, it was a great thing to build upon.”

It is very impressive to be off for almost six weeks and return to full form immediately.

“This is a deep team,” Kearney said. “We all come together in all moments of the game, whether that be if we are winning a game or losing. We all have one common goal, which is to win the ECC. Leadership has played a key role in this season. We have six players who have never competed on the NCAA level.”

The women’s bowling team is united under one goal, to win. This goal allows them to rally together and to continue to support one another despite any pandemic setbacks.

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