Coming to one of the most decorated programs in the country can be an intimidating experience for incoming bowlers.
“Especially knowing the players coming out of Saginaw, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Aaron Lorincz, a first-year bowler at SVSU. “I expected the best.”
As it turns out, Lorincz has had no problems fitting in.
Lorincz finished his first season at SVSU with a team-high average of 213.87, good enough to rank him No. 7 in the nation.
His average differential, a statistic calculated by determining how much a player’s average compares to the field average at each tournament, was good enough to place him fifth in the country.
“This was kind of like my freshman year,” Lorincz said. “Being top five in the country in my first year is quite an honor.”
Lorincz’s performance this year has been good enough to generate talk of a possible All-American selection. Head coach Daniel Dorion, who is on the voting panel for All-Americans, said that winners will not be announced until the banquet on April 18th.
“Many factors are taken into consideration when voting, such as field strength and lane patterns, so not always will the voters follow exactly the order that you will see the players in (the rankings),” Dorion said.
Academically a sophomore, Lorincz bowled for one year at Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia three years ago before coming to SVSU.
“We only bowled a few tournaments, so in my mind it didn’t really count,” said Lorincz, who competed in 17 tournaments with the team this year. “This is my first year bowling college realistically.”
Dorion said that he sees big differences between Aaron’s performance at the community college level and his game now.
“The interesting part about Aaron is that three years back he completed for Schoolcraft and was only able to average 174,” Dorion said. “To average 213 for this season speaks for itself.”
Lorincz decided to pursue collegiate bowling at SVSU after seeing the success of former Cardinals such as Dan McClelland and Bill O’Neill on the pro tour.
“I decided that I wanted to bowl in college, and with Saginaw being very well known in bowling, it seemed like the right move,” Lorincz said.
Lorincz’s year of individual success has come in a rare down year for SVSU, as the Cardinals missed out on the national tournament for only the fourth time in the last 23 years.
“It was very unfortunate that we didn’t make nationals,” Lorincz said. “It was kind of a bummer, and I know a lot of our team still isn’t over it.”
To rebuild and make it back to nationals next year, SVSU will have to do so amid rule changes regarding roster sizes put forth by the sport’s governing body.
This year, the maximum roster size dropped from 45 to 35. Next year, the cap will be 25.
The team has gone from 30 bowlers last year to 28 this season, but Lorincz thinks the new rules will have pros as well as cons for SVSU, one of the only teams in the country with enough roster members to be affected by the change.
“I’m hoping that it will create a lot of competition,” Lorincz said. “This year we had 42 people try out, and if we have anywhere close to that number next year, it mean’s we’re cutting 17 players.
“On the bright side, once the season gets into play, we’ll have more time to work with the people that are on the team and to focus our efforts more.”
Until then, Lorincz plans to use this summer to compete in individual in tournaments and leagues as well as putting in additional work to improve his game.
“Over the summer, I’m hoping to implement a workout plan, even starting now,” he said. “I’ll probably be working with a coach or two.”
One of the main things Lorincz said he will work on over the summer is improving his “rev rate,” the number of revolutions that he puts on the ball with each spin.
“I’m definitely one of the lowest on the team,” he said. “I’d probably be considered a ‘stroker’ or ‘power stroker.’”
Lorincz said that he hopes to follow in the paths of Cardinal greats such as McClelland and O’Neill, but his most immediate goals are more team oriented.
“It’s not about who finishes top five individually,” Lorincz said. “It’s about who finished top in the nation team-wise and what teams are the powerhouses.”
In order to help take the team back to nationals, Lorincz said that he will have to step up both as a bowler and as a team leader.
“I’m more of passive personality, but I think that this year showed that I need to step up a lot more,” he said. “I’m constantly learning along with the rest of the guys, trying to do anything possible to make this team better.”