Doubles victory leads Suffolk County to first NJCAA title


CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – A year removed from a runner-up finish at the NJCAA Men's Bowling Championship, Suffolk County (N.Y.) clinched its program's first national title Saturday at Airport Lanes.

The Sharks' victory was anchored by a winning performance in the doubles event from sophomore James Tagliaferro and freshman John Kavanaugh. Bowling an event-high 664, Kavanaugh's performance bolstered the 1,234 pins totaled by the duo.

Individually, sophomore Michael Kissel recorded a third-place finish for Suffolk County in the all-events standings with 2,369 pins. Other Sharks cracking the top 10 included sophomore Michael Ruben, Kavanaugh and Tagliaferro.

Dana Voytovich claimed two individual titles for Erie (N.Y.), topping both the all-events and singles standings. The sophomore accumulated a total of 1,807 pins during the tournament to become the 15th all-events champion in Kats' history. His effort included a 676-point performance in singles play which notched Erie's 10th victory all-time in the event.

Posting a total of 13,100 pins for the championship, Suffolk County coasted to the title with a 384-point advantage over runner-up Iowa Central. The Tritons dominated the baker games – totaling an event-high 659 pins in their third game – but fell short with 12,716 pins. Defending national champion Schenectady County (N.Y.) finished with 12,638 for third place.

Suffolk County joins Erie, Vincennes (Ind.) and Schenectady County as just the fourth team to win an NJCAA men's bowling title since 1982.

Photos courtesy of Erie Athletics.

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