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RCC Bowling Teams Rolling Toward Regionals

RCC Bowling Teams Rolling Toward Regionals

Rockland Community College Men's & Women's Bowling Teams

First-year women's team, established men's team gaining momentum

February 11, 2019

RAMAPO, NY – Rockland Community College's women's bowling team made its debut January 19, joining the long-established men's bowling team as a fully sanctioned NJCAA Division III and Region XV member. Last year the Lady Hawks had four players, one shy of the minimum requirement for a team.

The men's and women's squads have participated in three tournaments and are sharpening their skills in anticipation of the Region XV championship tournament on February 16 in Farmingdale, Long Island. The highlight of the season thus far was an impressive second-place, all-events finish by freshman Josh Cruz (North Rockland HS) out of almost 100 bowlers at the Westchester Classic, held January 27 at Spins Bowl in Carmel, NY Cruz averaged 205 for his six-game outing and fell just 25 pins shy of first place. The doubles team of Cruz and fellow freshman Michael Armida (North Rockland HS) placed 12th of 30 tandems, while RCC finished third among Region XV teams behind Suffolk CC and Westchester CC, and 10th of 12 teams overall.

Both the men's and women's teams have a distinct North Rockland flavor. The Hawks, under Coach Joe Ardiri, hold weekly practices at Hi Tor Lanes in West Haverstraw, and one-on-one sessions as their schedules permit. Coach Ardiri has had success recruiting from the local high school bowling programs, most prominently from North Rockland HS. Cruz, Armida, freshman Nick Simeone and sophomore Anthony Tomala are all North Rockland HS products, as are women's team members Emily Clark, a freshman, and Kacie Reilly, a sophomore who took up bowling last year. Other team members include sophomore Zoe Grampus (Ramapo HS), for the women, and sophomore Victor Porro, who hails from Tennessee, for the men.

RCC has competed in the Blue & Orange Classic, January 19 at Spins Bowl in Carmel; the Westchester Shootout, January 26 at Fishkill Bowl in Fishkill, NY; and the Westchester Classic, January 27 at Spins Bowl. Freshman Jessica Pearson (Washingtonville HS, NY) paced the Lady Hawks at the Westchester Classic, finishing 25th out of 45 competitors. Sophomore Rachel Mesaris (James I. O'Neill HS, Highland Falls, NY) led the way for RCC at the Westchester Shootout, coming in 28th of 62 bowlers. The Lady Hawks placed second among Region XV teams in both tournaments, behind Suffolk CC, and sixth overall in both.

At the Westchester Shootout on January 26, Josh Cruz and Michael Armida combined to finish 18th of 37 doubles teams, and Cruz took 20th out of 86 singles entrants. The RCC men finished third among Region XV teams and 10th overall in both the January 26 and 27 tournaments. The majority of RCC's tournaments feature keen competition from four-year institutions such as Penn State and Stevens Institute of Technology, in addition to community colleges.

Coach Ardiri is heartened by the progress made by his new bowlers as they adjust to both the varying oil conditions of lanes and the more expansive college format, which calls for six individual games (three each in singles and doubles) followed by five team games in which each of five players from a team rolls two frames per game.

The NJCAA Div. III national championship tournament is slated for February 28-March 2 at AMF Airport Lanes in Buffalo, NY. Since it is an open competition, each school sets its own qualification criteria for participating. If the Hawks perform well in the Regional tournament in doubles and/or singles, that would enhance their chances of taking part in the Nationals. Since the regular-season schedule is limited to essentially three weekends of matches, any additional competition is welcomed by the players and coaches. RCC sent a men's doubles team to Nationals last year and has sent a women's doubles team in the past.

“To get that experience can only help the program,” Ardiri said. “That extra week of bowling would be beneficial. I would push for them to go to Nationals.”

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CONTACT: Susan Lyddon, VP of Institutional Advancement
845-574-4595 or 347-840-1247