Over the first two rounds of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, one thing is clear: the Woodbridge High School girls bowling team isn’t going to go quietly.
The tenth-seeded Barrons knocked off seventh-seeded Edison 2-0 in the first round last Wednesday before pulling off the upset of the tournament; a 2-1 decision over second-seeded Cardinal McCarrick.
Jodi DiSilvestro’s 598 series carried Woodbridge, which entered the GMCT with a record of 5-9-3. But their performances of late have been nothing but stellar.
“The last couple of weeks, our girls have been bowling really well; shooting over 850 consistently and they’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year,” Woodbridge head coach Rich Maddock said.
In the semifinals, which take place this afternoon at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, the Barrons will take on third-seeded Carteret, which is fresh off of a first-place finish in the NJSIAA Central Sectionals.
“We just have to stay focused,” Maddock said. “A lot of times, the girls get frustrated with everything that’s going on, so I just have to keep them calm and concentrate on making spares. If we make spares, we can hold our own with a lot of good teams.”
On the other side of the girls bracket, top-seeded South Brunswick will matchup with fourth-seeded North Brunswick. Both teams qualified for the NJSIAA state finals after strong performances this past Saturday.
“When we’ve bowled them in the regular season and in tournaments, we’ve sometimes gotten the better of them, as far as scores go,” North Brunswick head coach Paul LaMagra said of South Brunswick. “But whenever we’ve gone head-to-head, we’ve been able to take one out of the three games and it’s going to take our best effort to beat them.”
Over on the boys side of the tournament, the top four teams have made it to the semifinals. Top-seeded Sayreville will meet fourth-seeded St. Joseph and second-seeded Colonia will matchup with third-seeded Woodbridge.
Combined, the four teams have won 55 of a possible 67 matches this season, which makes the semifinal round one to watch. Not only have the four teams made it to within two wins of a conference championship, but they’ve done so by dominating the competition.
But Sayreville head coach Michael Weinert knows that if his team bowls to their potential, they shouldn’t have much to be concerned about.
“If we bowl the way we should bowl, we should win,” Weinert said. “I’m confident in that. Obviously as you get down to these last few teams, you’re bowling against better competition.”
Sayreville and St. Joseph met twice in the regular season, with the Bombers winning the first meeting 3-1. In the second of the two matches, the teams tied 2-2.
“They’ve been bowling much better lately and they’re clicking at the right time,” Weinert said. “But we don’t worry about what the other team does. We just worry about us and if we go out and execute, we’ll be where we want to be.”
GMC Individual Champ Joe Adase leads Colonia against Mike Chundak and up-and-comer Mark Simon and Woodbridge in the other semifinal. Both teams go four deep in terms of stars in their starting lineup, so plenty of pins should fall to determine which of the two squads moves on to battle for a conference crown.