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Monroe among competitive teams in GMC bowling

Monroe among competitive teams in GMC bowling

By Jimmy Allinder

It’s shaping up to be a fascinating and competitive girls’ bowling tournament when the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) gathers for its championships next month.

A larger than usual number of teams from the conference’s Red, White and Blue Divisions, including undefeated Monroe Township High School (9-0 division, 11-0 overall), could wrest the title away from defending champion Woodbridge High School.

The week-long tournament will begin with the first and quarterfinal rounds Feb. 1 and 3, respectively, at Majestic Lanes in North Brunswick and conclude with the semifinals and finals Feb. 6 and 7, respectively, at Woodbridge Lanes.

The Falcons have already clinched the Red Division crown and seek to win their first GMC team title. But the expectation is at least two teams from each division will be in contention for the team title.

Edison High School (11-0 White Division, 14-0 overall) is a serious contender along with South Brunswick High School (7-2 Red Division, 12-4 overall) and Woodbridge (9-2 White Division, 11-3 overall). A pair of Blue Division teams, Carteret High School (10-1 division, 15-1 overall) and South Plainfield High School (10-1 division, 13-2 overall), could also make noise.

What makes Monroe a favorite is the way it has dominated in its nine division victories, dropping a total of only three games. Leading the way is sophomore Bridget Bolan, who averaged 187 as a freshman and may also challenge for the GMC individual title. Her high game this year is 267.

The Falcons’ depth also makes them dangerous. Junior Victoria Stasicky is a strong contributor with a 208 high game and is joined by senior Sara Wysokowski, who has rolled a 194 for her season’s best.

Other team members in the lineup’s upper echelon are seniors Ashley Borsuk, Nicole Boka and Nicole Ehrmann and juniors Nina Carey and Shannon Glynn.

The Monroe boys are 6-5 in the highly competitive Red Division and are led by sophomore Louie Folgore, who averaged 196 last year; senior Zachary Volkmann with his 192 average; junior Tyler Kresan, who averaged 184; and sophomore Ryley McKiernan, who had a 182 average.

Other members include junior Zachary Wayner, sophomore Devin Maddox and newcomers Riyaz Mohamed (junior) and Joseph Hoehler (freshman).

Coach Samantha Grimaldi, who is in her ninth season, said the teams — especially the girls — are enjoying success this year because of bowling’s growing popularity with the students.

“The sport is on the rise [here],” she said. “For the past few seasons, we’ve seen increased numbers at tryouts. Plus, we’ve had more and more bowlers arrive with experience from outside of high school, which has resulted in higher averages.

“Another strength of our teams is their ability to maintain high morale. That’s because they have bonded well together and continue to push each other to reach their potential.”