Fairleigh Dickinson Athletics

READING, Pa. -- Fairleigh Dickinson finished competition at the 2011 Kutztown Invitational by winning the tournament title. The Knights went 3-0 in the Baker game playoff round including a win in the title match against Maryland-Eastern Shore. FDU improves to 53-11 on the season after going 13-2 at Kutztown.

The Knights began the playoff round seeded third behind UMES and Vanderbilt. In a rematch from earlier in the tournament, FDU took on host Kutztown in the first playoff match. In their first meeting the Knights fell to KU but came back Sunday, sweeping the Golden Bears in four games. With scores of 200, 204, 217 and 227 they defeated Kutztown in style, as the Golden Bears  scored 163, 180, 190 and 185. 

After UMES defeated Vanderbilt in the opening round, the Knights and Commodores faced off in the second playoff round. FDU began the match with a one-pin win 197-196 just as it did in a meeting the previous day. Vanderbilt responded with a strong game two to defeat the Knights 218-210. The Knights took game three and four to bring the score to 3-1, and after switching lanes the Commodores took game five 226-191. The sixth game went down to the 10th frame but FDU pulled it out with a 218-210 victory to earn a trip to the championship match.

In a rematch from the 2010 Kutztown Tournament title match, the Knights met NTCA top-ranked UMES in the championship. Last year's outcome favored the Hawks, but the Knights had won 11 consecutive games and were confident.

UMES went out strong, taking the first game 237-141. In the second game the Knights fell 227-211 but coach Mike LoPresti called it a turning point in the match.

"In game two, the match turned," LoPresti said. "The lanes started to transition and our adjustments were true. We were able to align ourselves and figure a lot out in that game.

"We were down 2-0, but we went into game three with a good feeling."

LoPresti's feeling was correct, as the Knights took the next four games to seal the championship 4-2. The Knights outscored the Hawks 213-192, 211-196, 208-189 and 245-196 in the final four sets.

"That final match was a typical high-powered playoff match between two powerhouse teams," LoPresti said. "We were both vying for a title, it was great competition, we're really hoping for more of that this season."

Senior Tracy Ganjoin was named to the all-tournament team for her 217 average on the weekend.

"Every weekend Tracy is in the top of the field," LoPresti said of the leadoff bowler. "As the leadoff she's a catalyst for our lineup. As she goes, we go and it has turned out well for us."

"Tracy has blossomed into one of the top players in the country and it is well deserved. She is leading us through the battles," he illustrated.

Behind Fairleigh Dickinson, UMES was second while Vanderbilt was third, just ahead of host Kutztown. New Jersey City University grabbed fifth place, Delaware State was sixth and Steven F. Austin seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were Morgan State, Sacred Heart and Wisconsin-White Water.