Katie Zwiefelhofer couldn’t have scripted a better ending to her college bowling career.
The UW-Whitewater senior fashioned a storybook senior season, garnering individual and team honors along the way.
“It was amazing,” said Zwiefelhofer, who is a Park High School graduate. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Zwiefelhofer harbored high expectations going into her final season with the Warhawks, especially from a team standpoint. The Warhawks had tied for eighth place in the NCAA Championships last season and Zwiefelhofer felt she and her teammates could do even better this season.
And they did. With Zwiefelhofer leading the charge, the Warhawks placed third in this year’s NCAA Championships at Wickliffe, Ohio. It was a tremendous accomplishment for the Warhawks as they were the only Division III team competing in the eight-team Championships.
“We all worked so hard to get to the Championships last year and this year we worked twice as hard,” Zwiefelhofer said. “We knew we had to be on our ‘A’ game to make it. We were the underdog. All the odds were against us.
“For me, being my senior year and my last chance, I wanted to do something great this year.”
Zwiefelhofer certainly did. She averaged 203.8 for 49 games from her anchor position in the Warhawks’ lineup and made two all-tournament teams.
What’s more, Zwiefelhofer was chosen to the NCAA All-American second team and selected the Division II/III Player of the Year.
“It came as a complete shock to me,” Zwiefelhofer said of her Division II/III Player of the Year honor. “I had absolutely no idea I would receive this.
“I knew I had a really good senior year, but I also knew there are some really good girls in Division II and Division III. It was really satisfying.”
Zwiefelhofer has been bowling since she was three years old when her father, Steve, got her involved in bantam bowling. While her splendid collegiate career is over, she doesn’t have any intentions of packing up her bowling gear.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder already plans to play in professional tournaments, starting this summer with a regional tournament in Rockford, Ill.
“Now I really want to try and win some money,” said the 21-year-old Zwiefelhofer, who intends on completing her degree in communication next year. “Being in college, bowling was purely a sport. I know I have got to get better to compete against the other women, but that’s pretty much my goal.”
Robert Jacobsen (Horlick) is making the most of his red-shirt senior season with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Jacobsen, a left-handed golfer, is leading the Badgers with a 73.90 average over 20 rounds. He placed third in the Seahawk Intercollegiate March 16-17 at Wilmington, N.C.
In that meet, Jacobsen shot a career-best, 36-hole total of 141, 3 under par. He recorded 13 birdies. His fine showing earned him Big Ten Conference Golfer of the Week honors for the second time this season. Jacobsen’s season low is 68.
Jacobsen’s teammate John Gullberg (Case) is nearing the end of his college career as well. Gullberg has a 78.58 average for 12 rounds with a low of 73.
Gullberg also had a strong showing at the Seahawk Intercollegiate, finishing in a tie for 13th place.
Dylan Friend is coming off an impressive week for UW-Whitewater.
Friend (Burlington) went 8 for 17 during a four-game stretch, hitting three home runs and driving in 10 runs. For his efforts, he was chosen the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week in baseball.
For the season, Friend is batting .389.
* Two former Burlington High School standouts are playing prominent roles for Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Freshman Nolan Friend is 2-0 with a glittering 1.04 earned run average, while junior right-hander Joey Hodkiewicz is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA. The latter has struck out 20 and walked eight.
Wisconsin Lutheran is 13-9 overall.
* Nick Uhen (Catholic Central) has acquitted himself well as Ripon College’s starting catcher.
Uhen has played in 12 games, all starts, is batting .159 and has performed consistently well behind the plate.
Two other Racine County products have seen action for Ripon. Freshman left-hander Ryan Maier (Union Grove) has pitched in five games and is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA. Junior right-handed pitcher Taylor Wenck (Waterford) has thrown in two games with no decisions and a 4.50 ERA.
Aurora University junior Natalie Zanella (Caledonia, Union Grove High School) is off to a fast start. She has posted a 5-3 record with a 2.64 earned run average.
Last week, Zanella was dominant in earning Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Player of the Week honors. She went 4-0 while striking out 14 and allowing only two earned runs in 28 innings.
Track and field
UW-Whitewater sophomore Bryce Rudebeck (Waterford) was nominated for Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors for March 31-April 6.
Rudebeck won the 400-meter dash in 49.1 seconds in the Warhawks’ first meet of the outdoor season, the Rex Foster Open. He was also a part of the winning 4x100 relay, which was timed at 41.87. His 400 time currently ranks 14th in Division III and the 4x100 relay’s time is currently eighth in D-III and the fastest in the WIAC.