The final chapter of Alexandra Ross’ high school bowling career reads much like the first.
On Feb. 25, Ross, a senior at Greenwood Christian Academy, captured her second Indiana High School Bowling state championship in girls singles by rolling a three-game total score of 584 at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne.
Her initial state title came as a Greenwood Christian freshman in 2014.
Though not a sanctioned high school sport in Indiana, competitive bowling contains its own set of unique challenges, whether it’s adjusting to how lanes are oil patterned to selecting the right ball to use.
Ross practices after school at Southern Bowl in Greenwood three to four times a week.
Once a month, she drives to Thunderbowl in Fort Wayne to work with her coach, Jeff Dreyfus, the assistant men’s and women’s bowling coach at Indiana Institute of Technology (Indiana Tech).
“It’s a very, very hard sport; the sport in which you use the most muscle groups,” said Ross, who in November signed a national letter of intent to attend McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, where she will be part of the Bearcats’ women’s bowling program.
“When I get out of college I would like to bowl on the PWBA (Professional Women’s Bowling Association) Tour. I need to improve how I read the lanes, and my form in general will get better when I get to (McKendree).”
Ross, who is ranked No. 1 in her class academically with a 4.0 grade-point average, plans to major in art at McKendree and was recently named to Indiana High School Bowling’s Academic All-State Team.
She has been bowling competitively since seventh grade.
“Alexandra started bowling when she was roughly 10,” said Ryan Ross, her father. “My wife and I, neither one of us were bowlers, but one day I got an email about a program called Kids Bowl Free. I don’t know how I got on the email list, but it’s an excellent program.”
Alexandra Ross has competed in tournaments as far away as Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Louisville and Dayton. She owns approximately 20 bowling balls and takes anywhere between nine to 12 with her to competitions.
With college on the near horizon, the family has made an effort to scale back on the 15 to 20 weekend events Alexandra used to play in a single year.
As a junior, Ross’s average score of 211 was best among girls bowlers in Indiana. Her two-game series high was a 459, with a top single game of 258. She’s bowled a score of 279 in at least two sanctioned events and once rolled a 289 during practice.
Always working to get better, Ross sometimes gets to be challenged by her father, now a pretty good bowler in his own right.
“I took up bowling when Alexandra did, and it kind of snowballed from there,” Ryan Ross said. “Sometimes people think we live there (Southern Bowl) and pay rent because we’re there so much.”
Name: Alexandra Ross
Family: Parents Ryan and Debi
Favorite TV show: “Forensic Files”
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite movie: “The Shining”
Favorite athlete: Shannon O’Keefe
Favorite team: Indiana Pacers