The Ellison Lady Eagles bowling team pulled off a huge upset over preseason- favorite Copperas Cove on Tuesday by the score of 10-7.

“We really clicked as a team,” said Ellison head coach Karin Ciesiolka. “Our girls were rooting each other on, helping each other out and they each bowled well. I thought it would be a tough match coming into it. But we’ve been working so hard lately on target practice and spare shooting. And everything we’d been practicing on early in this season, they used for this big match.”

This was Cove’s first loss of the year. Ellison, Cove and Harker Heights are now in a three-way tie for first place in the Central Texas District, each owning 4-1 records with five matches left in the regular season.

Coming through for Ellison against Cove were three returning players from last season—Samantha Kriner, Hayley Brooks and Donna Skinner—and three newcomers: Ceasia Saxon, Marjerie Castro and Brianna Walker.

“I couldn’t have been any more proud of each one of our bowlers,” Ciesiolka said. “They each bowled fantastic.”

For the season, Kriner is sporting a 184 average and Saxon 170.

“This win over Copperas Cove will be a huge confidence booster for us,” Ciesiolka said. “Our girls saw that any team is beatable. Our girls know now that they have the ability to qualify for districts, regionals and state.”

On the boys’ side, Cove defeated Ellison 11-6. Leading the way for the Bulldawgs was James Norris who rolled a 245 and Robert Bigford who fired a 208. The Bulldawgs are on top of the district standings with a perfect 5-0 record. Ellison is 4-1.

“The win felt really good to us,” Bigford said. “We were very happy to remain undefeated. We knew this match against Ellison would determine who was in first place so it was very important to us.

“I think the major key to the win was that we bowled as a team.”

Norris is averaging a district-leading 219. Bigford’s average of 191 places him seventh in the district.

“I’m pulling myself out of a slump,” Bigford said. “A few more good games will help me bump that average higher to where I want it.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog on

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