No. 3 Fairleigh Dickinson claimed first place after day two of competition at the New Jersey Jamboree on Saturday. 

The Knights went 5-0 on the day and accumulated a total pinfall of 5,087 in five traditional games to overtake the leaderboard. The 18-team tournament is hosted by the Knights this weekend at Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park, N.J.

The Knights will move onto Sunday’s playoff round as the top contender. They will face No. 2 Vanderbilt in the first best-of-seven Baker match. A win will send them to the NJ Jamboree championship.

"Today was a tremendous team effort," said Head Coach Mike LoPresti. "Our primary goal always is to win matches, and we did the best we could by winning five straight. When we have everyone on the same page and working together, we play at a high level. That was the difference today as compared to yesterday."

The Knights faced Bethune-Cookman in their first round of the day.  Junior Danielle McEwan led the Knights with a 225, while sophomore Michelle Hunzaker added 209 to the Knights’ total of 985. The Wildcats had high scores of 202 and 161. FDU took their first victory of the day, outscoring BC-U 985-774.

FDU went into match two trailing the tournament leader Vanderbilt by just 86 pins. The Knights faced Sam Houston who sat 119 pins behind Vandy. Sam Houston challenged the Knights, keeping the score even through 10 frames. The Knights kept their composure and filled frames to end the game with a win 992-985.

McEwan once again led the Knights as the anchor with a score of 244. It was her tenth frame that secured the win for FDU. Hunzaker added a 204 for the Knights, while senior Joely Carrillo shot a 192.

The 992 was the highest team score in the second round, enabling the Knights to jump ahead in the standings.  After two traditional matches, the Knights trailed Vandy by 72 pins.

The previously scheduled matchup for round three turned into a one vs. two tournament-leader showdown between the Knights and the Commodores of Vanderbilt. The Knights took a small lead early on and held a 40-pin advantage going into the seventh frame. The Commodores held onto the game and tied the score going into the 10th frame.

Day 2 Scores

VU compiled high scores of 252, 205 and 202 but a strong 10th frame from each FDU bowler enabled the Knights to take the win, 1,101-1,022.  Once again the Knights tallied the highest score of the round.

Carrillo led the team with a 236, while McEwan maintained her tournament-leading average with a 223. Senior Meghan Kelly bowled a season-high 247, while freshman Erica Schneider and sophomore Michelle Hunzaker added 203 and 192, respectively.

With the high-scoring win the Knights took over first-place in the standings, leading Vandy by seven pins.

The Knights took on Howard in match four.  With a 229 from Hunzaker, a 223 from Carrillo, a 202 from Kelly and a 201 from McEwan the Knights outscored the Bison 1,046-838.

FDU also increased their lead in the overall standings to 101 pins with the win over Howard.

In the final game of the day, the Knights faced Salem International. Hunzaker and Carrillo led the Knights with a pair of 212s. Junior Brianna Carlo bowled in her first game of the day, recording a 194 for the Knights. FDU outscored Salem, 963-619 to pick up their fifth win of the day and seventh of the tournament.

The win secured the Knights’ first-place ranking for the playoff round.

"We were able to put ourselves in a great position to win the title of this event," added LoPresti.  "We'll need our 'A' game because the championship bracket is stacked. Any one of us could win it."