Women's Bowling Completes Regular Season At Hawk Flight Invite

Kaitlyn Stapleton averaged 169.0 and finished 42nd at the 2017 Hawk Flight Invite. (Steven R. Smith)
Kaitlyn Stapleton averaged 169.0 and finished 42nd at the 2017 Hawk Flight Invite. (Steven R. Smith)

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. – The Felician University women's bowling team concluded its 2016-17 regular season by finishing 11th out of 16 teams at the Hawk Flight Invite, hosted by Monmouth University on Friday through Sunday at King Pin Lanes. In a tournament rife with nationally-ranked competition, Felician bowled to a dual-match record of 4-9 for the weekend.

The Golden Falcons, who fell to 52-39 on the year, next compete in the East Coast Conference Championship tournament on March 24-26 in Keene, N.H.

The tournament format called for five 5-game Baker matches on Friday followed by five traditional team matches on Friday. The individual standings were culled from Saturday's traditional play and arranged by total pinfall. After Saturday, the teams were arranged by position for a three-match playoff bracket for Sunday's competition. Sunday's format consisted of best-of-seven Baker matches.

Friday's first match marked the end of the Golden Falcons' program-record 13-match win streak, as suffered a narrow 887-881 loss to No. 25-ranked St. Francis College-Brooklyn. Felician led by 48 pins after three games, but finished with efforts of 143 and 181 while the Terriers put up scores of 180 and 199.

Another close loss followed, this time by 12 pins to Kutztown University. Felician ended up 1-4 on Friday, capturing only its last match, 903-717 over LIU Post. On Saturday, the Golden Falcons split their first two matches, earning an 867-819 triumph over the host and No. 12-ranked Hawks. But they settled for a 2-3 mark, dropping their next two matches before downing Saint Peter's University, 813-737.

Individually, junior right-hander Jessica Zalewski (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat) finished 26th out of 111 bowlers that started at least one match. Zalewski shot 916 for five games, for an average of 183.2. Classmate Kaitlyn Stapleton (Washington Township, N.J./Westwood Regional) was the only other Golden Falcons entrusted to start all five matches on the condition that called for deep inside play. Stapleton fired an 845 to average 169.0 and place 42nd.

Zalewski's 217 in a loss to No. 5-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson University was Felician's best individual traditional game of the day. Junior Kristin Natoli (Freehold, N.J./Howell) was the only other Golden Falcon to break 200, shooting 204 during the win over Saint Peter's.

Felician sat in ninth place after Friday's Baker competition and in 10th after Saturday's results. But the Golden Falcons lost their first two matches on Sunday, and were forced to defeat Kutztown, 4-2, just to get back into 11th in the final standings.

FDU won the tournament with a 4-2 victory over No. 4-ranked Sam Houston State University in the championship match. Sam Houston was 11-2 for the weekend. Jamie Kelly of St. Francis-Brooklyn claimed MVP honors after shooting 1046 (209.2 average) on Saturday.