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Experience and newcomer alike boost Women of Troy on the lanes

IOWA CITY– Mike Mellecker has a problem, but it’s one he’s happy to have. Mellecker is the 10-year coach of the Iowa City West High boys and the girls bowling programs. His girls program went 4-10 overall last year with a 3-8 showing in the Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC). He’s got 10 starters back, including an All-Conference Second Team selection and two Honorable Mention picks. Mellecker also has a bunch of newcomers to the sport.
So what’s his problem? What to do with so much firepower.
“Our strengths will be in numbers. We have 17 girls signed up so far. This will be the most we have had in years,” Mellecker said.
While it’s good to see a program grow, the problem is trying to allocate varsity playing time.
“Any one of the 17 could be on varsity, which will be a good thing to have,” Mellecker said.
Veterans in Mellecker’s line-up are seniors Allison Bys, Ashley Bys, Asha Irani, Nicole Ritchey, Erica Roth, Bethany Schillinger and Kalei Strabala. Roth earned MVC All-Conference Second Team honors last season while Ritchey and Strabala were the Honorable Mentions. Allison and Ashley Bys earned Academic All-Conference honors as well. Also back is junior Shatiana Cooper and sophomores Skyler Dickerson and Kaitlyn Fultz.
Three freshmen, Alexie Little, Amelia Rios and Kylie Rohm join the squad. Mellecker noted all three are in a Saturday morning program and are bowling very well. Mellecker emphasizes the importance of such leagues, both for the future of the sport in general, as well as for helping his program to continue to grow.
Looking at the conference, the coach said the title is very much up for grabs.
“Another year of a very competitive conference,” he said. “Top to bottom, anyone can win the conference.”
The season opens on Tuesday, Nov. 22, as Dubuque Senior visits West High at Colonial Lanes (2253 Old Highway 218 S., Iowa City) for a 3:15 p.m. match.

2016 Iowa City West High Girls Bowling Schedule
Tuesday, Nov. 22 HOME vs. Dubuque Senior 3:15 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 2 HOME vs. Cedar Rapids Prairie 3:15 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 AT Cedar Falls (Maple Lanes, Waterloo) 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10 Invitational at Lancer Lanes, Cedar Rapids 1 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16 AT Cedar Rapids Washington (Lancer Lanes) 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 3 AT Linn-Mar (Cedar Rapids Bowling Center) 3:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 6 HOME vs. Waterloo East 3:15 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 13 HOME vs. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 3:15 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20 AT Cedar Rapids Xavier (May City Bowl) 3:45 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 27 HOME vs. Iowa City, City High 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 31 AT Wahlert (Cherry Lanes @ Diamond Joe Casino) 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10 HOME vs. Waterloo West 3:15 pm.
Tuesday, Feb. 14 AT IGHSAU Regional, TBD TBD
Wednesday, Feb. 22 AT IGHSAU State, (Plaza Lanes, Des Moines) TBD