They watched their two Garden State rivals take their usual places amongst America’s top-ranked NCAA bowling teams.
Fairleigh Dickinson and New Jersey City once again opened the season ranked in the National Tenpins Coaches Association Top 20 Poll, while the Saint Peter’s Peahens found themselves on the outside looking in.
Four months later, however, and David Freeman’s Peahens have joined the party.
Saint Peter’s broke into the National Tenpins Coaches Association Top 20 Poll, sliding into the No. 19 spot of the February edition of the national rankings. The Peahens join six fellow NEC members who have been ranked amongst America’s best since the season started back in October.
Fairleigh Dickinson, the defending NCAA champion, wrestled the National No. 1 ranking away from MEAC member Maryland-Eastern Shore. Meanwhile, New Jersey City leapt up to the No. 7 spot followed by NEC foes Kutztown and Sacred Heart in eighth and ninth, respectively. Adelphi (13th) and St. Francis (NY) (15th) both maintained their presence amongst America’s top-15 teams.
No other conference has more than three members ranked in the latest NTCA Top 20 Poll.
National No. 1 Fairleigh Dickinson has been piping hot during one of New Jersey’s snowiest winters on record. The Knights, whose head coach Mike LoPresti was recently tabbed one of the top-20 recruiters in all of collegiate athletics by ESPN The Magazine, have sandwiched a pair of tournament titles around their 7-2 showing at the NEC Winter Meet (Feb. 5-6).
Having won 31 of 37 matches since the start of the spring semester back in January, Fairleigh Dickinson has run its overall season record to 71-15 and boasts an astronomical .826 win percentage.
FDU opened the season’s second half by winning the 28-team Kutztown Invitational on January 30, defeating none other than UMES in the championship round. The Knights defeated UMES in a quad baker match on November 5 and added two more wins two days later in championship bracket play at the season-opening Jersey Jamboree.
After a 13-2 record at Kutztown followed by a 7-2 record at the second of three regular season NEC meets, Fairleigh Dickinson won 11 of 13 matches and another meet title at Delaware State’s Capital City Classic on February 13. The Knights secured first place at the Capital City Classic for the fifth time in six years by defeating New Jersey City, UMES, and Vanderbilt during best-of-seven baker championship bracket play.