Notre Dame Academy’s Joyce Van Drost takes bowling title



Joyce VanDrost didn’t need to capture the 13th annual S.I. Catholic HS Girls’ Bowling League Invitational Individual Tournament to feel like a winner — but she did so, anyway.


The Notre Dame Academy senior took the Division 1 crown with a 579 series, while St. John Villa senior Alexandra Rodriguez copped the Division 2 title with a 463 in action Monday at Rab’s Country Lanes.


Just over four months ago, the affable VanDrost underwent surgery for a kidney transplant, but she didn’t miss any time with the Gators bowling team. The 17-year-old Mariners Harbor resident led NDA in scoring average during the regular season (176), and her consistency was on display Monday with games of 192, 201 and 186.


“That 201 in the second game brought up my confidence,” said VanDrost, who held off teammate Victoria Barbarino (540) and St. Joseph Hill’s Brittany Hellisen (530), the latter of whom posted the high game of the afternoon with a 235.


VanDrost was diagnosed with end stage renal disease on the first day of school in September, but she “kept a positive attitude” despite a stay at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center and having to endure dialysis treatments. In October, her cousin, Kecia Taylor-Lewis, was tested to see if she was a donor match; she was, and the operation took place on Dec. 19 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.


“I was out of school the whole month of January. I came back at the beginning of February, just in time for the start of the bowling season,” said VanDrost. “Getting back to bowling was definitely a factor in getting back to my normal self.”


“It’s her will,” marveled her father, Andre VanDrost, a former basketball standout at Wagner College. “She wanted to get healthy and get back to being a high school senior and being with her teammates. By the grace of God, it’s worked out.”


Rodriguez saved the best for last with a 180 third game to best NDA’s Kristin Ferrette (436) and St. Joseph by-the-Sea’s Rebecca Tripodi (433) for the title in the division for bowlers in the lower half of the league’s scoring averages.


“I had high expectations for myself,” said Rodriguez. “I wasn’t keeping track of anyone’s scores, but I knew it was close after two games. That last game put me over the top.” 

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