Sitdown with Lindsay Rusch

Feb. 3, 2016

Commentary by Kyle Weaver

The UW-Whitewater women’s bowling team enters the last third of its season with a No. 7 ranking in the nation.

The team currently holds a 38-25 overall record and is coming off a sixth-place finish out of 17 at the Kurtztown Invitational in Reading, Pennsylvania on Jan. 22-24.

Senior Lindsay Rusch, who has been named to two NCAA All Tournament teams in 2013-14 and 2014-15, said the current season has gone well so far.

“We’ve obviously had our ups and downs,” Rusch said. “We’ve won a lot of really good matches this year, and I’m proud of the team for that.”

Rusch is one of three senior captains on the team. She thinks their experience and leadership helps set an example for the rest of the team.

“We all play different roles as a captain, but we’re definitely all leaders,” Rusch said. “People look up to us, and we try to help the best that we can.”

That leadership is needed when playing several of the top-ranked teams in the country. The ’Hawks have had mixed results against nationally ranked teams this season.

“Whenever we beat a ranked team, it’s a big deal for us,” Rusch said. “Beating schools like FDU (Farleigh Dickenson University) or Nebraska in a tournament is a big deal.”

The Warhawks defeated defending national champion Nebraska in a match at the Mid-Winter classic on Jan. 17 in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

The Warhawks have matched up against opponents such as Nebraska and Arkansas State several times in different tournaments throughout the season. They play in many tournaments with the top teams in the country, and Rusch says the experience pays off.

“It kind of gives us an advantage; the more teams we face, the better our strength of schedule looks,” Rusch said.

The strength of schedule is something that will come into play when teams are selected for the NCAA championships in April.

“Obviously, our main goal is to make it back to NCAA nationals,” Rusch said.

The Warhawks have traveled to several different states all over the country for tournaments this season, including New Jersey, Indiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. The large amount of traveling can make it difficult to balance classes and bowling, Rusch said.

“It’s definitely hard, but after you go to a few tournaments you learn how to manage your time pretty well,” Rusch said.

Tournaments are usually held on weekends, so the team leaves Whitewater early on Thursday mornings.

“If you have Thursday or Friday classes, you usually miss those,” Rusch said. “Teachers are usually very understanding and are flexible in making up tests and assignments.”

The Warhawks will be competing in the Stephen F. Austin Lady Jacks Invitational on Feb 12-14 in Houston, Texas.

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