Eighty Percent of the NEC’s Bowling Membership Resides in the NTCA Top 20

If “two out of three ain’t bad,” then what would Meatloaf say about the Northeast Conference’s presence in the latest edition of the National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 20 Poll?

Even the burly 70s pop singer has to admit that eight out of 10 is pretty darn good.

With six of the conference’s 10 bowling members having earned a spot in the preseason edition of the national rankings, the NEC saw its presence increase in the first survey taken since the start of the 2012-13 regular season.

With eight teams included in the December edition of the NTCA Top 20, the NEC has a greater presence that that of any other collegiate bowling conference.

In fact, while 80 percent of the NEC’s membership base is ranked amongst the nation’s elite, no other conference is home to more than three Top 20 teams.

A pair of Brooklyn-based rivals are responsible for adding to the NEC’s list of Top 20 occupants.  Both LIU Brooklyn (16th) and St. Francis Brooklyn (18th), who didn’t make the cut when the preseason results were released, cracked the December rankings as a result of solid season starts.  The Blackbirds (5-4) and the Terriers (6-3) both teams posted winning records at November’s NEC Fall Meet, the first of three regular season conference competitions.

The highest rank attained by a NEC team belongs to Fairleigh Dickinson, which sits in fifth.  The Knights, who were forced to cancel their annual Jersey Jamboree Invitational due to Hurricane Sandy, dropped two spots down from their preseason ranking.

FDU, which is one of three league members to boast “Top 10” status, has finished first, second and fourth at the three meets it has contested thus far.  

“It’s an honor to be considered as one of the top teams in the nation,” said FDU head coach Mike LoPresti after learning of his team’s No. 3 preseason ranking.  “Never before has the level of competition for NCAA bowling been so strong and deep. [Our team] lacks experience. It will take a lot of hard work and growth for us to achieve the ranking by the NTCA membership.”

While the Knights incurred a modest drop-off in the latest national rankings, Adelphi enjoyed a seven-spot surge into the Top 10.  Having won 34 of the season’s first 45 matches, the Panthers jumped from No. 15 up to No. 8 (the highest rank in program history).

Surprisingly, Adelphi is not responsible for the biggest leap by a NEC team.  That distinction belongs to Saint Francis (PA)Tom Falbo’s Red Flash held the No. 19 ranking heading into the season, but find themselves on the brink of the Top 10, in 11th, following a 24-8 season start.

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Meanwhile, Kutztown is one spot ahead of the Keystone State rival Red Flash.  The Golden Bears, who have started 34-12, jumped up two spots from No. 12 to No. 10.  Although Kutztown is not the NEC’s highest-ranked team in the poll, Joe Ambrose’s club sits atop the NEC regular season standings following a 7-2 showing at the first conference competition.

Sacred Heart (12th) and New Jersey City (17th), who have combined to account for 12 NCAA Championship appearances since 2004, suffered slides, but remained in the Top 20.  In fact, both Becky Kregling’s Pioneers and Frank Parisi’s Gothic Knights have been ranked amongst the NTCA Top 20 for their entire Northeast Conference tenures.

Sacred Heart’s drop out of the Top 10 is likely less of an indictment of the Pioneers’ early-season performance and more of a testament to the strengthening of the sport on a national scale.

Non-NEC members Stephen F. Austin and Valparaiso also fell out of the Top 10. The top-five vote-getters from the preseason poll were not immune to shuffling either.  In addition to FDU going from third to fifth, Nebraska and Arkansas State both lost their “Top 5” status.  Meanwhile, Central Missouri went from its No. 6 preseason ranking to becoming National No. 1 for the first time ever.

“This [latest] poll reflects what NCAA bowling coaches have known, that the depth and parity in college bowling is the best it has ever been,” said SHU head coach Becky Kregling, who doubles as NTCA President.  “Youth programs and high schools are developing outstanding talent, while more universities are expending resources and coaches are recruiting this talent like never before in our 10-year history.”

Even with dramatic shifts in the NTCA rankings and the strengthening of collegiate bowling across the board, one constant has remained.  The Northeast Conference STILL has more Top 20 programs than any other league in America.

NTCA Top 20 (December 2012) – Official Press Release

SAAC IN THE CITY: NEC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Leaders Convene at New York Times Building

It was Christmas time in the city, and the Northeast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee did not miss out on an opportunity to spread a little holiday cheer.

The group held its annual administrative meetings in a Christmas-clad New York City on the first weekend of December. 

With the sights and sounds around Manhattan carrying a holiday time motif, the selected group of NEC student-athletes practiced the spirit of giving.  On their way to enjoying a meal together at NEC corporate partner Ruby Tuesday, each of the 24 men and women delivered items to a “Toys for Tots” drop-off point in Times Square.

“We attempt to center all of our community service work around children,” said NEC SAAC advisor Kevin Sanchez.  “When it comes to helping kids, our student-athletes really respond and rise to the occasion.”

The “Toys for Tots” drop off and group dinner followed a full day of meetings during which SAAC leaders from around the Northeast Conference shared experiences from their campuses.  They also traded ideas and advice for future SAAC-sponsored initiatives and activities.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Mount softball player Lindsey Ruhle about the December weekend in New York City.  “We met extremely intelligent and insightful people that gave us ideas that will help our Mount St. Mary’s SAAC grow and develop.”

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The meeting, which was hosted at the New York Times Building in Manhattan, gave the SAAC leaders a forum to voice any concerns of fellow student-athletes at their respective institutions.  NEC SAAC administrators Kelly Webb and Kevin Sanchez also solicited feedback from the student-athletes on a number of the conference’s operations and events.

“The annual meeting provides a great opportunity for student-athlete leaders from across our conference to collaborate as they all work toward similar goals,” said Sanchez.  “It is also important that everyone is aware of what is happening on a national scale, too.”

Every year, a portion of the meeting is dedicated to discussing national issues and any pending NCAA legislation.

The young men and women of the Northeast Conference SAAC won’t convene again until next fall, but they’ll be organizing and administering a number of service efforts in the meantime.

The next community service initiative that the group will undertake are the annual “Penny Wars.”  SAAC groups can choose any two-week period from January 7 through March 17 during which they will conduct the “Penny Wars” fundraiser, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation in Harrisburg, PA.

The Overtime! Weekly ‘Twitter Take Five’

Following your favorite NEC athlete or sportswriter on Twitter is an enjoyable experience, but can also become an overwhelming one.

With so many people to follow and so much information to digest, it isn’t always easy to manage. Hence, the Overtime! Blog’s Twitter Take Five, a new weekly feature that selects five of the most intriguing/significant Tweets from across the NEC and presents them to our fans right here on the Official Blog of the Northeast Conference.

NOTE: This week’s edition contains a heavy Mount St. Mary’s presence hence a special Overtime! Blog shoutout to all of the Tweeting Mounties in Emmitsburg.

 

THE RUNDOWN…

Tweet No. 5 – Mike McFadden, Power Forward, Robert Morris MBB

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The above tweet has little relevance to the NEC except for the fact that it was sent out by a current Robert Morris post player.  Still, considering a number of Overtime! Blog staffers share Mike McFadden’s sentiment, it made this week’s list of Top Tweets.  More Red Please!

 

Tweet No. 4 – Daniel Paulling, Writer, Hanover Evening Sun

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Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball has won three in a row under first-year coach Jamion Christian.  Paulling’s article points to the contributions of Sam Prescott and Rashad Whack during the Mount’s current surge.  You can read the whole story here:  Transfers bring new energy to Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team

 

Tweet No. 3 – Ashley DeCruise, Mount St. Mary’s Alumnae

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It’s great to see this former Northeast Conference 200m champion is still pursuing her passion on the track.  DeCruise is also a scholastic track & field coach, sharing her love of the sport with the younger generation.

 

Tweet No. 2 – Irma Garcia, Athletic Director, St. Francis Brooklyn

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The Terriers have a new home.  While the school remains on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights, its men’s soccer team is moving to the newly-completed Brooklyn Bridge Park.  St. Francis Brooklyn athletic director Irma Garcia was all smiles when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially opened the park at Pier 5 on December 13 with numerous Terriers in attendance.  Read more about the Terriers’ new home field.

 

Tweet No. 1 — Coby Rosemier-Gussio, Decathlete, Mount St. Mary’s

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This second-year Mountaineer has clearly chosen the latter.  Not sure if his dreams included winning the NEC Most Outstanding Rookie Performer award at both the 2012 indoor and outdoor championship meets, but that is what he did.  It appears as if he is working toward more great things in 2013.

 

– Dec. 14, 2012 –

 

The Overtime! Weekly ‘Twitter Take Five’

Following your favorite NEC athlete or sportswriter on Twitter is an enjoyable experience, but can also become an overwhelming one.

With so many people to follow and so much information to digest, it isn’t always easy to manage. Hence, the Overtime! Blog’s Twitter Take Five, a new weekly feature that selects five of the most intriguing/significant Tweets from across the NEC and presents them to our fans right here on the Official Blog of the Northeast Conference.

THE RUNDOWN…

Tweet No. 5 – Tyrik Miller, Wagner football fan

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We have been fortunate enough to watch numerous superb student-athletes come through the Northeast Conference, and Nick Doscher is in that category.  Although measuring the toughness of student-athletes is not one of our specialties here at the Overtime! Blog, we can confidently say Wagner’s all-NEC first team quarterback is one tough dude. Overcoming numerous injuries throughout his four seasons on Grymes Hill, Doscher was never afraid to sacrifice his body to gain even a single yard.  Hats off to this senior signal caller, who led Wagner to its best season as a FCS member and first playoff win since 1987.

 

Tweet No. 4 – Josh Alaeze, DE, Central Connecticut football

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Not only does Josh Alaeze know all about tackling, but it also appears that he knows a little something about existential theory as well.  If Søren Kierkegaard had a Twitter account, then he would most-likely “favorite” this defensive end’s tweet. And, for those of you wondering, Alaeze made 50 tackles, including 9.0 stops for a loss in 2012.

 

Tweet No. 3 – Bryant Athletic Compliance Dept.

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With final exams looming, Bryant’s compliance office sent out this friendly reminder.  The NCAA prohibits mandatory activity during the week leading up to the start of exams for student-athletes who are currently out of season.  Keep in mind, rehabilitation work remains permissible during this period. #NCAARulesEducation

 

Tweet No. 2 – Hickory Pick Fences, MidMajority.com Blogger

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Sophomore slump? Not for Kyle Vinales.  The Central Connecticut guard, who doubles as a point-scoring machine, dropped 27 on New Hampshire and still tops the NCAA Division I leader board in scoring (25.9 ppg).

 

Tweet No. 1 – Mike McFadden, Power Forward, Robert Morris MBB

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This veteran post player didn’t come close to Twitter’s 140-character per tweet limit, but he didn’t need to. The image attached to his tweet explains it all.  The Colonials’ grit, togetherness and defensive teamwork have resulted in four consecutive NEC Championship Game appearances.  Will there be a fifth? Only time will tell, but, for now, everyone is still buzzing about Robert Morris’ victory over MAC member Ohio, a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 last March.

 

– Dec. 7, 2012 –