Bowler Dayne Terry of Coarsegold has signed a letter of intent to attend NCAA D-1 Tulane University in New Orleans in the fall as a member of the university's Green Wave bowling team.
Terry, 18, signed her letter Monday and her school, Minarets High, will hold a rally to honor her tomorrow (Friday).
Tulane's program has just finished its fourth season and is hoping to crack the top 20 teams in the country with the addition of Terry and two other talented freshman recruits joining the team for the 2014-2015 season.
The team ended this season with a 34-61 win/loss record.
Her first-year Tulane half scholarship is valued at $30,000. She will use additional bowling scholarship funds she has earned during her high school career and academic scholarships to be close to the $64,000 a year it costs to attend Tulane.
The school flew Terry to New Orleans in February to meet Coach Hayley Veitch and to tour the campus and the town. Veitch heard about Terry from the coach of Stephen F. Austin University in Austin, Tx., who was interested in Terry, but did not have an open spot on her team for her.
Coach Veitch, 29, who hails from Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, England, was a first team All-American bowler for Martin Methodist College. She was the national runner-up in collegiate singles in 2009, and owned the highest bowling average (204) during the 2007-2008 season. She is a Academic All American and has a bachelor's degree in sports management.
"Coach Veitch picked me up at the airport and I was there for three days," Terry said. "The school has a long history of excellence in education and the campus was beautiful. Coach Veitch is extremely knowledgable about bowling and I can't wait to play for her. I'm really excited about the opportunities and experiences that I am going to be given. Knowing that all of my hard work with bowling is the catalyst that will allow me to pursue a world class education at Tulane is more than I ever dreamed of."
Tulane played in Conference USA this season and will move to the Big East Conference next season. The season runs from September through March. Big East schools include St. John's, Providence, DePaul, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Villanova, Xavier, Butler, Creighton, and Marquette.
The team closed out the 2013-14 season with six wins at the ninth annual Columbia 300 Music City Classic hosted by Vanderbilt University in mid-March.
Tulane's 34 wins this season are the most in the program's short three-year history.
Terry, who will major in psychology at Tulane, first picked up an eight-pound bowling ball when she was 5 years old and quickly fell in love with the sport. She won her first junior bowling tournament when she was 11.
"That's when I got serious about bowling," Terry said.
Since those early years, Terry has become one of the top high school bowlers in the country with a 196 average.
Her success has not come without a lot of hard work. She practices six to 10 games a day, four days a week. In addition, she played in two leagues at Sierra Lanes in Oakhurst, but when the facility closed last year, she had to make the drive to Valley Bowl in Madera to practice.
"Terry and Patty Hoben, the owners of Valley Bowl, provided all my practice sessions this past year at no charge," Terry said. "They have been very supportive of me."
Terry is the daughter of Careen Terry of Coarsegold.
"Most high schools in California do not have bowling teams, and the west coast does not have many NCAA bowling programs, so getting a scholarship to a D-I college is a prestigious honor," Careen said.
Terry and her mother have travelled more than 2,000 miles a month over the past two.
Terry is currently carrying a 4.1 GPA at Minarets. She has spent the last four years traveling all over the western states bowling against the best junior bowlers in California as well as many of the the top collegiate bowlers from across the nation.
"I've had some great coaches to help me get to where I'm at including Jerry Rust, George Lewis, Craig Donaldson, and Wendy MacPherson," Terry said.
Lewis, coach of the Madera High School bowling team the past 15 years, has spent time with Terry to help prepare her to play at the college level.
"She's a hard worker and has a lot of talent," Lewis said. "She's worked hard to receive this scholarship to a top university."
"Dayne showed her natural ability early on and she works real hard at the game," Rust said. "The successful young bowlers are the ones that take suggestions and constructive criticism. Dayne was always very coachable. The bowling community certainly wishes her the best at Tulane."
Terry has bowled at the Team USA Trials against the best female bowlers in the United States in 2012 and 2013. She has also bowled in the Northepoint Junior Gold Tournament in 2011 Las Vegas, and 2012 in Indianapolis. She has qualified again this year for the tournament in New York.
Terry's bowling accomplishments include:
Selection to the NorCal all-stars for six consecutive years.
Won the Pepsi Championships District Four Under 20 girls division three straight years.
Placed in the top four at Pepsi State Finals the last two years and is currently heading to finals for another shot at the title.
Won last year's Orleans Wipeout high school girls scratch division in Las Vegas.