Featured Athlete
Maggie Suchoski
Maggie Suchoski
Women's Bowling
March 10, 2014

It's been another banner year for the St. Ambrose athletic program, especially on the women's side.

Along with a men's basketball title, the Bees have already claimed Midwest Collegiate Conference women's championships in soccer, cross country, basketball and indoor track & field.

And last weekend, another SAU conference champion was quietly crowned - Maggie Suchoski of the nationally-ranked women's bowling team.

The senior from Evergreen Park, Ill., averaged a 202.0 over six games to win the tournament by 48 pins. Suchoski made her move in the third and fourth games, rolling a 220 and a 225 to take over first place.

"I know some people don't, but I like to know where I'm at. I like the pressure," Suchoski said. "But going into the last game they didn't post scores, so I didn't know where I stood. I knew the girl close to me had a good game so I knew I needed to have one too."

And she did, sealing the championship with a 216.

With her senior season winding down, the MCC Championship marked Suchoski's first collegiate win.

"It was really exciting," she said. "The rest of the tournaments on the schedule this year are Baker games so this was really the last individual tournament of the season. I was really hoping to win. And that it really helped the team out meant a lot."

Maggie Suchoski receives her all-tournament award at the MCC ChampionshipsHer individual title helped the Bees finish second in qualifying and advance to match play. But the run ended there as SAU was knocked out of the semifinals by Clarke 3-1.

"That was disappointing," she said. "There was no reason we shouldn't have won. We are ranked high in the nation and I thought we had it but it just didn't work out."

The Bees will next head to Smyrna, Tenn., for the USBC Collegiate Sectionals beginning Mar. 15, and with a top-four finish, would qualify for the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships in Reno, Nev., in mid-April. The SAU women have not made it to nationals since 2010, the program's first year of existence, and a year before Suchoski arrived on campus.

After coming agonizingly close the last two years - SAU missed out by 80 pins over 64 games in 2012 and by 29 pins over 64 games last year - Suchoski, averaging a 185.7 through nine events so far this season, thinks chemistry can help take this year's team to Reno.

"We were depressed after being so close last year. I think we all stayed in bed during Spring Break right after sectionals," Suchoski said. "But now collectively, we have the same goal - we want to make Nationals.

"Last year, we were teammates, but this year, we have a relationship outside the alley and have become close," she continued. "Sometimes you can go games without saying a word, but you have to communicate, especially with the bowlers in front and behind you in the order. It helps put everyone in a good state of mind and you have to feed off each other. And we've been doing that this year."

Suchoski, a third team Capital One Academic All-America last year, has even higher goals away from the lanes. The Physics and Philosophy major on track to graduate in the spring wants to earn a PhD in Physics and ultimately work for NASA.

But bowling also remains in her plans as she looks to compete at Team USA trials over the summer.

With her career winding down, Suchoski feels the St. Ambrose bowling program, a program she has helped build, is in great shape.

"When I first got here, the oldest bowlers on the team were sophomores. We weren't inexperienced bowlers, but we were an inexperienced team," Suchoski said. "Now we had that first class graduate, we have a strong group of upperclassmen and we have some good bowlers behind. I think it's looking good for the future."