New Jersey pair takes lead at Women's Championships

RENO, Nev. - Lisa Friscioni of Saddle Brook, N.J., and Kathleen Weissman of Fair Lawn, N.J., competed against each other collegiately but joined forces this week at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships, where they coasted into the Division 1 Doubles lead Monday.

Weissman, a 30-year-old right-hander, led the way with games of 205, 267 and 238 for a 710 series, and Friscioni, a 29-year-old right-hander, added 194, 267 and 228 for a 689 set and 1,399 doubles total. Jan Schmidt of Hales Corners, Wis., and Sarah Germano of Rochester, N.Y., previously held the top spot with 1,311.

"It was tough because we started off slow the first game," said Friscioni, who made her eighth USBC Women's Championships appearance. "The lanes played a little different from yesterday. We had a great second game, and that's what really got us going."

Friscioni and Weissman's team event Sunday was broadcast live on BowlTV. After putting themselves in a spot to make a run at the Diamond Division lead, the team struggled in the final game, eventually helping Time of Our Life settle into eighth place with 2,442. Lusha's Ladies of Frisco, Texas, lead with 2,651.

The pair learned from the mistakes they made in their team event and worked harder as a team during doubles and singles at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Monday.

"I felt like we had more motivation today after not bowling well the last game in team," said Weissman, who made her seventh Women's Championships appearance. "We talked it over and had much better communication as a team today. That was the key."

Friscioni was a member the 2006 NCAA national championship-winning team at Fairleigh Dickinson University and earned the tournament's Most Valuable Player honor. Weissman helped New Jersey City University to a third-place finish at the 2004 NCAA National Championship.

After graduating, they began to bowl locally together, and the 2014 event marked their first time competing together as doubles partners.

"We competed a lot against each other," said Friscioni, who also helped FDU to the 2010 NCAA national championship as an assistant coach. "We moved into the same area after graduation and began to team up in the same leagues. Collegiate bowling was a great experience, and this tournament gives us a chance to get together with all of our friends."

With their score in the books, Friscioni and Weissman only have a week to wait and see if their number is enough to claim their first Women's Championships titles.

"We hope it holds up," Friscioni said. "Whether it falls to 10th or stays in first, we're extremely happy with the way we bowled."

Friscioni added sets of 709 in team and 644 in singles to finish her 2014 tournament with a 2,042 all-events total, which places her second in Division 1 All-Events behind the 2,074 of three-time Women's Championships titlist Joey Biondo of Carpentersville, Ill. Weissman finished with 617 in singles and 595 in team for 1,922.

Bowlers competing in Division 1 have entering averages of 190 and above. Teams competing in the Diamond Division have combined entering averages of 725 and above.

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.