Albert Lea girls’ bowling team wins consolation title
Published 1:34 pm Saturday, May 3, 2014
The Albert Lea girls’ bowling team rolled its way to fifth place at the state tournament and a consolation championship on April 26 at Southway Bowl in St. Cloud.
“It was a lot of fun to be involved in it,” said Albert Lea coach Loren Kaiser. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Out of eight state qualifiers, Albert Lea was the No. 4 seed. In the first round, the team played No. 5-seed Mankato East/Riverbend. Albert Lea won the first game 202-159, but Mankato East/Riverbend rallied with wins of 184-167 and 178-140 to advance.
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Albert Lea rebounded in the consolation semifinals against St. Francis. After losing 183-162 in the first game, Albert Lea won 182-157 and 229-168 to advance to the consolation finals against Fergus Falls.
Fergus Falls won the first game 193-144, but Albert Lea rallied for the victory with wins of 159-137 and 180-163.
Albert Lea’s Bree Tlamka was recognized as an Third Team All-State selection.
“The girls were very coachable, and I was very happy with that,” Kaiser said.
Park from Cottage Grove beat Mankato East to win the state title.
Albert Lea earned an automatic bid at the state tournament by winning the South Central Conference during the regular season. The Girls Minnesota High School Bowling league has been in existence for four years, and each year Albert Lea placed at state. To go along with this year’s fifth-place finish, the team took second in 2011, first in 2012 and fourth in 2013.
Three members of the Albert Lea bowling team also competed at the All-Conference Tournament April 21st and took third place at Junction Bowl in Isanti: Tlamka, Breanna Oftedahl and Rachel Reichl.
The All-Conference Tournament pits the four conferences against each other. Albert Lea was part of the South Central team that won the consolation championship. South Central lost to Metro South 2 in the first round and beat Metro South 4 in the consolation finals.