Mackenzie Kelly

Camanche’s Mackenzie Kelly bowls during the River Valley Conference meet Feb. 11 at Imperial Lanes in Camanche.

The Camanche varsity girls bowling team features three seniors, and they’ve been though a lot.

Two seasons ago, the Indians placed second in the Class 1A state bowling meet, with Emilee Hall placing fifth as a sophomore. Last year, an uncomfortable oil pattern gave them fits at the state-qualifying meet, and the Indians missed qualifying by just a handful of pins.

Back for their senior season, Emilee Hall, Makenzie Kelly and Abby Determan are ready to get back to their winning ways.

“It was upsetting,” Hall said. “We had big hopes going into it and it really hurt us when we struggled like we did. We didn’t know how to move and didn’t adjust fast enough.”

Kaylee Tebbe went out individually as placed third. The rest of her team went out and supported her, but they want to be on the lanes with her this go-around.

“I think it made us work a lot harder,” Kelly said. “We want to get back there one more time since we barely missed it last year.”

It’s made them work on adjusting fast to adverse situations, hoping they’re ready for whatever situation is thrown their way. Luckily, they’ve got a group they compete with every day to keep them on their toes.

“The family we’ve created — we’ve been bowling with each other since we were super young,” Kelly said. “It’s constant competition, we always want to one up each other while being each other’s biggest supporters. We have a lot of inside jokes that helps us lift each other up, and since we all have each other to lean on we’ve all improved because of that.”

They’ve relied on their team chemistry a lot when things aren’t going their way. They’ve learned the importance of being able to shake off a bad shot and move on to the next frame.

“We all know it’s our last year,” Hall said. “We have to stay close and work well with each other.”

The Indians take on state qualifying on Tuesday. Luckily, there will be no strange circumstances with the oil patterns, house layout or lane this year. They host the tournament at Imperial Lanes.

And they have some big impressions to make this season.

“It’s huge,” Hall said. “We have a huge day ahead of us, but we’re prepared.”

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