The Youngstown State women's bowling team continued to grow in its second season and saw marked improvement from several of its student-athletes. Below are some of the highlights of the 2017-18 season:
- MVP (voted on by team): Emma Dockery
- High Average: Nikki Mendez
- Highest Game: Nikki Mendez and Mackenzie Olesky
NTCA Poll Rankings: The Penguins ranked 24th in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Preseason Top 25 Poll, and YSU continued to receive votes in the poll throughout the season.
Better Winning Percentage: Youngstown State boosted its winning percentage to .490 in 2017-18, up from .440 in 2016-17. The Penguins won 48 matches overall, a four-win improvement from the previous year. YSU made a sizeable step forward particularly in bracket play as it went 9-9 to win 50 percent of its bracket matches. YSU was 6-13 in bracket play in 2016-17.
Two Trophies at Kutztown: YSU began the season with a pair of third-place finishes at the Bud Whitman Memorial to earn two plaques. The Penguins posted season-high match totals of 1,026 and 1,025 in Baker play as they totaled 4,881 pins and went 4-1 in head-to-head contests. YSU's efforts in team play were highlighted by a school-record total of 1,025 in a win over Chestnut Hill. Nikki Mendez placed sixth individually with a total of 1,035, which was the highest five-game total by a Penguin for the year.
Strong Showing in Nashville: Youngstown State earned some solid victories at the season-ending Columbia 300 Music City Classic to build for 2018-19. The Penguins beat three ranked teams on the weekend, including a pair of top-10 foes. Youngstown State beat No. 7 Delaware State 1,006-917 in traditional team play to snap a 10-match losing skid against the Hornets, and the Penguins opened bracket play with a 4-1 victory over No. 8 UMES.
Miscellaneous: The Penguins earned 12 total victories over teams ranked in the top 25… YSU beat 34 different teams during the season... Four different bowlers were the top individual finishers at tournaments throughout the season.
Emily Dietz saw her average in team play jump four pins from her freshman year, going from 176.53 up to 180.82. She bowled a career-high 227 against Delaware State on Jan. 20, and she surpassed 200 six times during the year. Dietz was YSU's top finisher three times in five spring tournaments.
Emma Dockery had a solid freshman campaign and was the only bowler to appear in every Baker game throughout the season. Dockery averaged 177.84 over 37 team games, and she surpassed 200 on seven occasions. Her highest game was a 242 versus Chestnut Hill the opening weekend, and she went on to finish ninth in her first collegiate tournament.
Rachel Ellis made an impressive nine-pin jump in average from 2016-17 as she boosted her average to 182.86. She bowled a career-high 217 against Tulane on Nov. 4, and she went on to be the Penguins' top finisher at the TRACK Kat Klash. She bowled three games over 200.
Ashley Kolb was YSU's top individual finisher in two tournaments during the season. She bowled a career-high game of 237 against North Carolina A&T on March 17, and she went on to finish a team-best 40th at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic.
Senior Mackenzie Olesky averaged 191.44 over 16 games, and she surpassed 200 in five of those 16 games. Her highest effort was a 246 against LIU Post at the Hawk Flight Invite on March 3.
Nikki Mendez carried the highest average throughout the season with a 183.67 over 39 matches, and she surpassed 200 a team-best nine times. She was YSU's top bowler in two tournaments, and her high game of 246 came against Felician in the opening weekend of the season.