Coming off a second-place finish at the Class 6A bowling tournament in 2010, the Maize girls expected a chance to do it again a year later.
Or even better, win it like the 2009 team.
But the Eagles hit a bump. Participants in the Dodge City regional, Maize finished — by its standards — a disappointing fourth. It left the Eagles one spot out of qualifying as a team.
"It was one of those days," sixth-year Maize coach David Walker said.
The Eagles have refused to let the upsetting finish to last season have anything to do with getting back to competing for a top spot in the state this year. With the entire varsity team back, it's not hard to see the optimism.
Among the returners, Maize does have two who qualified individually for state last season in seniors Leela Yahya and Danica Walker. Yahya, who had a 211 average last season, returns as a medalist, placing 11th at state. Walker had a 180 average.
"There's always a lot of disappointment when you miss the cut (for state)," Walker said. "The girls made a commitment to getting better in the offseason. They were there last year, and so you don't have to look far to see the hunger they have of getting back to state."
"We're always hopeful," Walker said.