Lake Shore’s DeCruydt has strong showing at girls state bowling finals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 8, 2019

 St. Clair Shores Lake Shore sophomore Dani DeCruydt, left, poses with Shorians coach Greg Villasurda and senior Jessica Ludwick March 2 at the Division 1 state finals. DeCruydt finished second individually.

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore sophomore Dani DeCruydt, left, poses with Shorians coach Greg Villasurda and senior Jessica Ludwick March 2 at the Division 1 state finals. DeCruydt finished second individually.

Photo provided by Greg Villasurda

ST. CLAIR SHORES — As a freshman in 2018, Dani DeCruydt barely missed the cut for the championship bracket at the Division 1 girls state bowling finals.

On March 2, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore’s DeCruydt battled all the way to the state championship match.

DeCruydt finished second in D-1. Oxford High senior Megan Armbuster outlasted DeCruydt 416-367 in the finals to win the state title. DeCruydt finished seventh in the qualifying round to get to the championship bracket.

“Since I came so close to making the championship bracket last year, I was just happy to make the cut this time,” said DeCruydt, who is a member of a Shorians team that won a Macomb County championship in January. “I really just tried to stay focused in each match.”

On her way to the finals, DeCruydt bested the No. 10, 15 and 11 seeds. Armbuster won as the No. 12 seed.

The top 16 bowlers in the qualifying round advance to the championship bracket.

Lake Shore coach Greg Villasurda is proud of how DeCruydt performed at the finals.

“I should say I was surprised by (DeCruydt’s state finals performance), but nothing surprises me anymore that she accomplishes,” Villasurda said. “She has the perfect mindset for bowling. She’s never too high or too low. I’d like to take credit for her, but her dad, John DeCruydt, has schooled her well.”

John DeCruydt is a volunteer assistant coach with the Shorians. After rolling — by her standards — a subpar game at the finals, DeCruydt sought counsel from her father. Following the session, she rolled a 276 in a game she had to have to get into the championship bracket.

“My dad really helps me out,” DeCruydt said. “I just try to stay calm when I roll. I just think of it as open bowling and just go for it. There were a lot more people (at the state finals) than at our other matches. All of the people around don’t bother me. I just do the best I can.”

Lake Shore senior Jessica Ludwick also made her second straight appearance at the state finals. She bowed out in the qualifying round. St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior Stephanie Schalk and St. Clair Shores South Lake senior Matthew Rushlow both fell in the round of 16.

As for DeCruydt, she said just getting to the state finals is a big deal.

Villasurda believes she will get another shot at a state title.

“In the championship match, (Armbuster) just bowled great and you just tip your cap to her. She really deserved to win,” Villasurda said. “I have a feeling we will see Dani in it again, being that she’s just a sophomore. She’s a great bowler and a better teammate. I’m glad I get to witness it.”