SPARTA, NJ - The Sussex Tech Bowling Team dropped to 7-5 on the year after a 7-0 loss to Jefferson on Thursday proving why Jefferson is one of the top teams in the league.
“No doubt Jefferson’s a great team, you can’t take anything away from them they just [have] great bowlers,” Sussex Tech senior Travis Vihti said.
Despite the loss the Sussex Tech Team made their coach proud while trying to measure up to Jefferson.
“I’m very proud of my guys and girl bowlers,” said Sussex Tech Head Coach Chad Gasiorek said. “Hat’s off to Jefferson they are a good team, they have a great coach, but are they beat able yeah everybody’s beatable.”
Sussex would fall in the opening game 969-954 despite producing their highest pin count on the match. Senior Travis Vihti led the Mustangs with a game-high 226.
“The oil pattern was just right, I had to slow the ball down and that was pretty much my success with the 226,” said Vihti.
“[Vihti] gets us started, he leads us off, he’s definitely our team leader,” said Gasiorek.
Brandon Salam joined Vihti in the first game by notching the teams’ second 200 performance on the day. Salam collected a 204 in the first frame in route to a 601 series.
Salam continued his success into the second game for Sussex Tech opening up with two straight strikes.
As both Salam and Vihti began to cool off Bobby Waldron began to head up for the Mustangs. Waldron knocked down several loose spares to take a game-high 207 for the Mustangs. Waldron struggled in the first and third games finishing with a modest 561 series.
Salam’s second game performance, however was not enough to help the Mustangs take game two. Jefferson responded by producing three 200-games in the second in route to their highest team game score of the night. Jefferson finished game-two on a roll with a 1005-944 victory to effectively take the match.
“The thing about my team is when they’re relaxed and having a good time they bowl well. When they start getting down on themselves, not really making their shots, really getting upset, everybody doesn’t bowl well,” said Gasiorek.
Jefferson continues their dominance in the third game having an additional three bowlers with 200 or higher games. Jefferson’s Kyle Bendish came to within one strike of a perfect game finishing with a game-high 288 to assert Jefferson’s dominance as one of the top two teams in the league.
The Mustangs received a solid last game effort from Salam who finished with a team-high 229 in the final game. The sophomore Salam is expected to join Waldron, Matt Sturm, Joey Rigotty and Tommy Slater next season to form a potentially dominant Mustang team next season.
“[Salam]’s come along extremely well as a sophomore and we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in a few years if they stick together and keep bowling, and take it seriously,” Gasiorek said.
As for this season the Mustangs have resigned themselves to remaining in fourth places as the top three spots are currently unattainable due to their now 7-5 record.
The Mustangs will set their focus on the remaining tournaments and matches on their schedule. They expect to be solid players in both the h/w/s tournament as well as the “Tech” Tournaments as Gasiorek described. Sussex Tech will compete in their next match on Monday against High Point.
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