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Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Whipple all in on Warhawk bowling

Junior Kelly Whipple continues to be a key part of Whitewater’s bowling team.
Junior Kelly Whipple continues to be a key part of Whitewater’s bowling team.

UW-Whitewater’s bowling team struggled last month after an impressive start to the season but have since regrouped themselves at the perfect time. 

Coming off a 13th place finish out of 18 teams in the Mid-Winter Classic, the No. 22 ranked Warhawks headed into Smyrna, Tennessee, for the USBC Sectionals against Division I powerhouses in Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, and Youngstown State looking to make a name for themselves.

“I feel good, I feel confident in the team, I feel confident in myself,” junior Kelly Whipple said. “I think the last few weeks we really prepared well. We were working really hard on fundamentals and basic things this week, and I feel like a lot of the girls are going into it confident.” 

Winning 2023 Division III National Player of the Year last year, Whipple’s expectations grew higher than ever heading into the season.  

“I felt like I had a lot of eyes on me,” she said. “I really struggled with my physical game. It kind of brought me down mentally the first half of this season, so even though I’m struggling individually, I feel bad for them because it affects them just as much as it affects me.” 

Whipple knew with the national spotlight shining on her that a change became necessary. With a two-month break between playing, the Sheboygan native looked outward to come back better prepared for the second half of the season. She and her roommate traveled to California during the break and took another trip to Las Vegas to participate in a separate bowling tournament. 

“I went out there with some high expectations and the first day I found myself in dead last,” she said. “I was like, ‘This is the rock bottom of my bowling [career],’ I need to just, you know, pick apart my game and build it back up.” 

She flourished with her next opportunity. 

Whipple celebrating with her teammates.

“I went back that next day and qualified (at) 15th,” Whipple said. “I bowled so much better. It was like there was a new me out there and I finished that tournament pretty strong.” 

Whipple returned home to Whitewater and continued practicing until the season resumed. Hours at Warhawk Alley turned into days. Every pin knocked down grew the anticipation even more.  

“It was a little bit of a grind, but it’s been much better the second half of the season,” she said. “We really wanted to emphasize going all in. Putting our all in every practice, every tournament. I’m just hoping we can put it all out there for our seniors, for our coach, you know, just have a really good, strong end of the season.” 

Whipple and the Warhawks look to carry their momentum throughout March and into April with USBC Nationals set to begin April 15 in Las Vegas.  

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About the Contributor
Gabe Sadoski
Gabe Sadoski, Assistant Women's Sports Editor

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  • R

    Rose WhippleMar 11, 2024 at 11:05 am

    Keep your dream going Kelly