Even though three years have passed by, Allura Magsino still feels like she isn’t the senior that she is now.
Much of the playing time given by tournaments was taken from her due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as she begins her senior year bowling season, she reflects upon the journey that she has taken up to this point.
“I have been bowling since I was six years old,” Magsino said. “My grandma and grandpa, they were like bowlers back in Vegas, which is where I started bowling.”
She started participating in bowling leagues at 12 years old and then continued to bowl after that.
In high school she served as the anchor bowler, guiding her team to many successes. There was even a point during a high school tournament where she gained the attention of Valparaiso University head coach Shon Washington.
The choice of coming to Valpo was simple for the Hoffman Estates native: proximity and competition level was all that Magsino wanted.
The reason why I came to Valpo was because it is the closest school that has a bowling team that is D1 too,” Magsino said.
As a freshman, she was nervous in her first couple of meets. A reason for this was that she was the only freshman who joined the team that year.
“For me, I was very nervous, and it did carry out performance-wise because I was the only freshman to come in,” Magsino said. “I didn’t feel comfortable until the end of my freshman year as a whole.”
Now in her senior year, she is reminded to let her nerves go. Both Washington and her teammates remind her to have a ‘nothing to lose’ mentality.
“Of course my teammates now, because we started bowling last week, all will say, ‘Go out with a big bang, it’s not freshman year anymore, you are not the smallest one,’” Magsino said.
She is the only senior on the team currently and serves as a mentor for her teammates, but not as a captain.
“I do try to take some leadership roles, but for me personality wise it is not my suit,” Magsino said.
She hopes to have a full season this year that is not cut short by COVID-19.
“So for me, just because of COVID and everything, I still don't feel like it's my senior year. Just because since I am a senior and I do bowling, I only had one full season my freshman year,” Magsino said.
As she reflects back on her career, she hopes to check off an important box: to bowl a full day at a tournament this year.
In her experience here, Magsino is part of a team that is overshadowed by the popularity of other sports. She hopes that the bowling team receives more recognition in the future.
She experiences questions daily, both in class and with people around campus.
“Who is this team in neon green? Oh wait, we have a bowling team?” Magsino said of the questions.
“Even as a senior, I just made some friends in my classes, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I am on the bowling team and they are like, ‘Oh, we have one?” Magsino said.
She feels that part of the reason people haven’t heard about the team is because they don’t have the typical wins that other teams achieve.
In order for a basketball team to win, they have to win against one team in two halves. Magsino and her squad face 25 at most in a tournament.
The competition in the Southland Bowling League does not help the cause either.
“I mean, it is kind of hard going against McKendry, Vanderbilt in your tournament,” Magsino said. “And the only way to win is to win your tournament.”
Her favorite memory from her college bowling career is the traveling that they did to their meets all across the country.
“We have traveled to Vegas, traveled to New Orleans. This year, we are traveling to Texas,” Magsino said. “My favorite memories are just going to different places and bowling, because that is the sport that we enjoy, along with a new place.”
Magsino will continue her journey as part of the bowling squad on Friday, Oct. 15 to Sunday, Oct. 17 at the MOTIV Penguin Classic tournament.