Vucak, Bergen County teams finish strong at North girls bowling sectional by Greg Tartaglia of The Record
HACKENSACK – Victoria Vucak went back to using what worked. Amelia Brunda made sure to keep her arm in tight. Caroline Gervolino kept her focus.
All three competitors came through with big final games that led to victory in the North sectional girls bowling tournament at Bowler City. Each had a different explanation as to why, but their results all mean the same thing – a trip to Bowlero Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick next week.
Vucak ended her Saturday with the third-high game (247) en route to a 680 series, which gave the Paramus Catholic senior the individual title. She led a contingent of 18 qualifiers for Wednesday’s state singles finals at Carolier.
Brunda threw a clean 265 in game three, blasting nine strikes to earn the high game award and help Holy Angels repeat as Group 2 champion, 2,562-2,450, over Mahwah. The top two schools in each group advanced to next Friday’s state team finals.
Gervolino shot Ridgewood’s top game (216) to cap her day and help bring the Maroons their first sectional title in five years, 2,407-2,339, over Bergen Tech.
While the trio contributed to some of the best Bergen County team efforts, a Warren County team stole the show. Warren Hills (2,950) led the house by a wide margin and had four state individual qualifiers to top Teaneck (2,504) in Group 3 and capture its fourth straight sectional title.
Vucak became the first Paladin to win the North individual title since 2007. She made a ball change prior to game one and opened with a 201.
“After that, I just stuck with my normal balls the entire time,” said the left-hander, who rolled 232 and 247 to finish.
Vucak joined older sister Nikki (Paramus Catholic Class of 2014) as a two-time state qualifier, and Victoria aims to improve upon her 2017 finals finish of 21st.
“I’m looking forward to being in that atmosphere again,” Vucak said. “Last year, I missed the cut by four pins. But now it’s my senior year, so I’m happy I made it.”
Brunda began the season as Holy Angels’ leadoff bowler and filled that role when her team won the Bergen County title. Recently, Angels coach Pat Dunne had the sophomore switch places with anchor Alexa Hernandez.
Brunda responded with a fourth-place 630 series on Saturday. “There was pressure at first, but I was doing it for my team,” she said.
Holy Angels reached to the state team finals for the 11th straight season by winning its ninth sectional title in that span. Mahwah booked its first bid to Carolier thanks to big third games from Justina Kender (204) and Julia Colucci (203).
More Maroon magic
The Ridgewood girls claimed their third sectional crown one week after the Maroon boys won their first. This marks the fourth time in the group era (2007-present) that a school won boys and girls sectional bowling titles in the same year. Westwood (2014-15) and Paramus Catholic (2015) are the others.
“The thing I like about this is, these girls have bowled under pressure now, and they’re reacting to it very well,” said Ridgewood coach Dick Bennett. “And they’re all coming back next year.”
The sixth Bergen County team to qualify for the state finals was Dumont, which finished runner-up to Mother Seton, 1,956-1,883, in Group 1. Anchor Lindsey Buchheister shot a 220 final game to power the Huskies, who overtook three teams in the final frame to advance.
Warren Hills brought home its second tournament title from Bergen County this winter, following a victory in the New Year’s Team Championships at Lodi Lanes last month.
Senior Katie Winch tossed the North section’s second-high game (252). Freshman Sam Irwin had the top series (628) for the reigning State Tournament of Champions winners, who will continue their title defense in a season they have dedicated to late coach Greg Rottengen.
“It’s been an emotional journey since his passing,” Blue Streaks coach Jennifer Feldman said. “But every tournament – everything that we’re doing – he’s with us, he’s in our minds. And these girls are showing up every single day, ready to bowl.”
North sectional girls bowling tournament
TEAM RESULTS (Top two advance to state team finals)
GROUP 4: 1. Ridgewood 2,407; 2. Bergen Tech 2,339; 3. Hackensack 2,305; 4. Passaic Tech 2,208; 5. Kearny 2,018; 6. Passaic 1,951; 7. Bloomfield 1,931; 8. North Bergen 1,686; 9. Dickinson 1,517; 10. Clifton 1,293*; 11. Bayonne 1,222*.
GROUP 3: 1. Warren Hills 2,950; 2. Teaneck 2,504; 3. Wayne Valley 2,389; 4. Paramus Catholic 2,313; 5. Phillipsburg 2,201; 6. Fair Lawn 2,130; 7. Wayne Hills 1,949; 8. Nutley 1,900; 9. Northern Highlands 1,709; 10. Belleville 1,566; 11. Immaculate Heart 1,395*.
GROUP 2: 1. Holy Angels 2,562; 2. Mahwah 2,450; 3. NV/Demarest 2,215; 4. Ramsey 2,182; 5. Westwood 2,147; 6. Indian Hills 2,134; 7. Paramus 1,946; 8. River Dell 1,892; 9. Snyder 1,793; 10. Ridgefield Park 1,554; 11. Tenafly 1,521.
GROUP 1: 1. Mother Seton 1,956; 2. Dumont 1,883; 3. Hoboken 1,852; 4. Pascack Hills 1,848; 5. Mount St. Dominic 1,839; 6. Hudson Catholic 1,799; 7. DePaul 1,713; 8. McNair Academic 1,678; 9. Marist 1,493; 10. Lincoln 1,037*.
*Team had four bowlers
HIGH SERIES (Top 18 advance to state individual finals): 1. Victoria Vucak (Paramus Catholic), 680; 2. Shaelyn Shadwell (Sussex Tech), 671; 3. Marissa Cosentini (Wayne Valley), 657; 4. Amelia Brunda (Holy Angels), 630; 5. Sam Irwin (Warren Hills), 628; 6. Krista Eskow (Fair Lawn), 623; 7. Kelcie Mannon (Warren Hills), 618; 8. Rachel Duncan (Indian Hills), 613; 9. Olivia Ostrander (Warren Hills), 597; 10. Lauren Marks (Parsippany), 592; 11. Jamie Paddock (Montville), 588; 12. (tie) Kaitlyn Lowey (Union Catholic) and Katie Winch (Warren Hills), 584; 14. Hayley D’Alessandro (Wayne Valley), 583; 15. Kiara Powell (Union), 574; 16. Maryann Ramirez (Passaic Tech), 570; 17. Goldera Surles (Union Catholic), 568; 18. Mia Aish (Teaneck), 550.
HIGH GAMES: 1. Brunda 265; 2. Winch, 252; 3. Vucak, 247.