New Jersey City Athletics
WALLINGFORD, Conn. — In two seasons as an associate member of the Division I Northeast Conference, all Division III New Jersey City University has done is post a 24-4 record. That’s a .857 winning percentage. And halfway through the 2010-11 NEC schedule, the Gothic Knights are at the top of the conference standings again. On February 5, No. 9 ranked NJCU posted a 5-0 record and won each match by at least 114 pins as the Knights claimed sole possession of first place in the conference with a perfect record on the opening day of the second NEC Meet of the season. The two-day event is hosted by Sacred Heart University at Colony Lanes.
NJCU, which extended its conference winning streak to 10 consecutive, won its 50th match of the season, improving to 50-19 on the year (.725) and 12-2 in the conference—one game better than No. 2 ranked and defending national champion Fairleigh Dickinson University (57-12, 11-3 NEC), and two games above No. 7 Kutztown University (56-20, 10-4 NEC) and No. 8 and defending NEC champion Sacred Heart (48-21, 10-4 NEC) in the standings.
On the first day of the NEC meet, all 10 league members bowled five matches consisting of six Baker total pinfall games. NJCU went 5-0, while FDU and Sacred Heart went 4-1. Kutztown was 3-2.
NJCU opened the day with an 1117-1003 win against No. 10 Adelphi University, improving to 3-2 this season against the Panthers. The Knights cruised past Long Island University, 1155-991 and Monmouth University, 1184-1019. In the fourth match, the Knights downed 11th-ranked St. Francis College (N.Y.), 1190-1056 for the second time in as many meetings this year, before concluding the day with an 1141-1008 triumph over Kennedy Boulevard neighbor Saint Peter’s College.
Reigning Northeast Conference Coach of the Year Frank Parasi, in his 11th year as head coach, was extremely pleased with NJCU’s performance.
“We were very consistent today, and that’s a credit to them [the NJCU players]. They were consistent in their shots, while making their spares, and the games were consistent. There was no roller coaster today because we were very steady throughout the entire day and it reflected in the game scores. Tomorrow we’ll have the same approach. It doesn’t matter who we bowl, because as long as we continue to bowl the way we are, teams will have to bowl well against us to beat us. We’re just going to keep focusing on what we’re doing correctly. Whatever happens on the other lane is beyond our control.”
NJCU maintained the same starting Baker lineup throughout the day, with junior Amy Brehm leading off, followed by freshman Nicole Baginsky in the No. 2 position and sophomore Kelly Daunno in the bridge role. NJCU’s two returning First-Team All-NEC selections from last season completed the rotation as junior Jennifer Daunno setup for senior Nicole Drejerwski, the reigning NCAA Division III National Player of the Year, in the anchor spot.
In the opening match, NJCU took control from the start, beating the Panthers by 59 pins in the opening game, 50 in game two and 31 in game three for a convincing 140-pin lead over Adelphi. NJCU, which owns a 24-12 record all-time against AU, had game scores of 179-203-186-196-160-193. Adelphi improved its scores in each game (120-153-155-180-183-212) but could not challenge NJCU in the contest.
NJCU has never lost to LIU and its now 10-0 all-time against the Blackbirds, winning by 164 pins. NJCU only led by 23 pins midway through the match before it bowled better than 200 in its final three games. The Knights posted game scores of 178-170-170-221-216-200. LIU countered with scores of 179-157-159-169-171-156.
NJCU improved to 2-1 this year against first-year Monmouth. The Knights won the match by 165 pins, thanks in part to a quick start and wins in five of six games. NJCU led by 79 pins at the midway point before firing a decisive 253 in game four. NJCU’s game scores were 203-182-180-253-180-186. The Hawks collected games of 173-156-157-182-191-160.
In match four against the Terriers, NJCU uncorked a 243 in game one to grab a 72-pin lead in the match. The lead was 98 until game four when NJCU pounded SFC, 204-145 and 199-158 in the fifth game before winning the contest by 134 pins. NJCU, now 20-4 against the Terriers in the last four seasons, posted game scores of 243-192-191-204-199-161; SFC had tallies of 171-210-183-145-158-189.
NJCU improved to 14-4 in the last four seasons against intra-city rival Saint Peter’s by taking a 66-pin lead after game one and cruising from there. The Knights game scores were 193-160-196-184-208-200. The Peahens collected scores of 127-185-179-157-216-144.