The Pinheads Aim to Turn Heads

Led by a strong class of returning seniors, The Pinheads look to continue in their winning ways.

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Coming off of a second-round playoff exit in 2018, the Stuyvesant girls’ varsity bowling team, the Pinheads, hopes to do more in 2019. The team finished with a 9-1 record last year, which tied them with Beacon for first place in the Manhattan A Division. Previously in both 2016 and 2017, the Pinheads displayed impressive undefeated seasons, but fell short of a championship; they will look to conquer a fourth straight division title and beyond in the upcoming season.

In the first round of last year's playoffs, the Pinheads were matched up against the Midwood High School Hornets. The Hornets had a 6-2 record and finished second in the Brooklyn A Division. The Pinheads and Hornets split the first two games, and it ultimately came down to a third game. In the final game, Stuyvesant bowled a total of 533, which trumped Midwood’s score of 406, making the Pinheads victorious by two games to one. Senior and co-captain Erica Ruan was a key piece in the final round, bowling a match-high 183.

As the Pinheads moved on to the next round, they faced Susan Wagner High School. The Falcons of Susan Wagner went 8-2 in the regular season, good for first in the Staten Island B Division. Surely they would prove to be a tougher matchup to the streaking Pinheads. This proved to be the case, and unfortunately, the Pinheads fell to the Falcons at three games to none. Susan Wagner ended up going all the way to the semifinals before losing to the New Dorp Cougars.

In this upcoming season, with the departure of only three seniors from last season, the Pinheads look to continue their winning ways. According to senior and co-captain Ruo Yan Chen, their biggest struggle in the upcoming season will be the lack of underclassmen. “Our current team consists of mainly seniors, and our main concern will be recruiting underclassmen to train for the seasons to come,” senior and co-captain Stephanie Liu said. The Pinheads are looking to recruit new players as the season rolls around again, since the team is all seniors with the exception of a single junior.

They have been holding regular practices throughout the summer. Chen is optimistic about the upcoming season and has seen improvements among individual players throughout the summer. She anticipates that several players have the potential to qualify for the individual championship, and the team may see more improvement as the season progresses. Ruan is also confident about the team's capabilities and believes that their team can win every game in the Manhattan Division. When commenting on the state of the team, Ruan said, “We recently met up in the beginning of the month, and everyone seems to be at the top of their game.”

As for their biggest challenge of the season, Ruan views Beacon as their toughest competitor, but she believes that they can prevail as they have in prior seasons. To improve in the playoffs, Ruan thinks that the team needs to practice in the same lane as their competitors before a game. “One of the main problems from the previous year was that the players weren't used to the lanes at Staten Island, so this time, we will definitely practice there before the actual game,” she said. Because lanes vary between different alleys, Ruan believes that this is “the team’s best way to prepare for this season’s playoffs.”

The Pinheads have had success in the past. They’re used to winning, and yet they feel the need to do more in the upcoming season. They have a good chance, and if there is going to be a time to succeed, it will be this year. Led by a strong class of returning seniors, the Pinheads look to continue their winning ways.