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Hempfield senior turns attention to college

| Thursday, April 18, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Hempfield bowler Justyne Falbo
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Hempfield shortstop Justyne Falbo walks the ball in to the pitcher after recording an out during their April 11, 2013 contest vs. Latrobe in Hempfield Township.

Justyne Falbo's illustrious high school bowling career came to a memorable and noteworthy finish last month when she won an individual state title.

The Hempfield senior, who also helped Hempfield to a runner-up finish in the state team championships, now will take her wizardry on the lanes to the collegiate level.

“It's definitely a great way to end your career on that note,” coach Dave Montell said. “She's been a joy to coach. She understands the game. She understands how the whole thing goes together and how to make the big crucial shots.”

Falbo also won her second Western Regional singles title with a win over Spartans teammate Cortney Weirs earlier this season after placing second in the regional last year and finishing first as a sophomore.

“It was great,” Falbo said of her state championship. “It gives my teammate, Cortney, the opportunity to do it next year. She told me last year, this was my year. This win shows my team that they can do it as long as they work at it.”

In February, Falbo, who bowled a team-high 634 series, helped the Spartans win the WPIBL team championship.

Falbo, who is also a prolific softball player, mans shortstop for the Spartans and finished last season with a .356 batting average and 14 RBI as an all-section selection.

She isn't the first dominant Falbo bowler to find success at Hempfield. Justyne's older sister, T'nia, just finished her collegiate career at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, where her team won back-to-back NCAA championships and posted a third-place finish this past weekend in Canton, Mich.

“She has taught me a lot. She has made me the bowler that I am today,” the younger Falbo said. “She would take me to the lanes and we would bowl until I would win one or we wouldn't leave.”

Justyne might also end up at University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, but she also is considering bowling at schools in Texas. She plans to make her decision in the next couple of weeks.

“I accomplished a lot in my high school. I won two regional titles and I have won a state title,” she said. “I want to be able to play, hopefully, for a college where they will look at my accomplishments and work with me and make me into a better bowler.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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