Shaler Area girls bowling happy for 1st state championship berth

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Friday, March 13, 2020 | 9:28 PM


Shawn Pilyih had an inkling the Shaler Area girls bowling team clinched its first appearance at the state championships.

The Titans coach came to the sudden realization when the results were delivered to him.

“I was the tournament director,” Pilyih said. “I didn’t know until they handed me the sheet with the teams that made the finals, and I saw we made it.”

The Titans knocked off McDowell in the quarterfinals of the best-of-three step-ladder finals before losing to eventual champion Greensburg Salem. The top six teams advanced to the step-ladder format.

“I didn’t know if we made it or not because after the three regular games, we were in eighth place,” Pilyih said. “We bowled decent during the bakers, and scores were low across the board. Somewhere in there, I felt like we had a shot, but I didn’t know.”

The state championships were set for March 13-14, but have been postponed indefinitely due to coronavirus.

No Titans qualified as individuals. Bella Pilyih was the top finisher on the girls side, placing 35th. Shannon Roche finished 54th, Lexi Pilyih 60th and Ryan Callahan was the lone male qualifier for Shaler and had a strong first performance at regionals. Callahan placed 23rd. The top 12 boys and girls qualified for states.

Shawn Pilyih was proud of how the Titans were able to handle the different oil patterns to move on to states.

“They worked as a team all day,” Pilyih said. “They made spares. They encouraged each other the whole time. They never got down.”

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