Nutley HS girls bowling team wins county tournament title

The Nutley High School girls bowling team won the Super Essex Conference/Essex County tournament title at Bowlero Lanes in Belleville on Feb. 7. From left are Gabriella Lucivero, Gabriella Botti, Xael Leon, Stacy Shang, Cassandra Nesta, Julianne Carson and Angelica Duffy.
Julianne Carson, left, placed fifth and Gabriella Lucivero placed third at the SEC/Essex County individual tournament on Feb. 9 at Bowlero Lanes in Belleville.

NUTLEY, NJ — The Nutley High School boys and girls bowling teams have enjoyed successful seasons this winter.

Under the guidance of second-year head coach Frank Sasso, both teams won their respective Super Essex Conference–American Division titles for the regular season. The girls had a 13-1 record, while the boys went 12-2. Both teams also each went 84-14 in combined points.

The teams competed at the Super Essex Conference/Essex County Tournament on Monday, Feb. 7, at Bowlero Lanes in Belleville. 

On the girls’ side, Nutley won the team title with a total team score of 2,016. 

Sophomore Gabriella Lucivero had a 468 series, which was the third-highest in the tournament; and junior Angelica Duffy had a 184 high game, third in the tournament, and 447 series, fifth in the tournament.

Julianne Carson, a junior, finished 12th with a high series of 384. Cassandra Nesta, a junior, had a 142 high game and 359 series; Gabriella Botti, a freshman, had a 142 high game and 358 series; and to round out the championship team. Freshman Xael Leon and Stacy Shang were alternates.

The Nutley High School boys bowling team won the Super Essex Conference–American Division regular-season championship. Kneeling, holding the championship plaque, is Jackson Cerniglia–Rapavi. Standing from left are Tim Twomey, Kalvin Wong, Dan Carchia, Evan Sanchez, Chris Bibbo and Joe Duca.

On the boys’ side, Nutley finished fourth. The Raiders bowled well against a very strong field of bowlers.

Kalvin Wong, a junior, led the team with a 225 high game and finished ninth with a 603 series. Jackson Cerniglia-Rapavi, a freshman, had a 204 high game and 573 series and senior Tim Twomey had a 227 high game and 523 series. Juniors Joe Duca, Dan Carchia, Evan Sanchez, Chris Bibbo and Archer St. Amant combined to round out the team.

The top-12 high-series finishers qualified for the SEC/Essex County individual tournament held at Bowlero Lanes on Wednesday, Feb. 9. At the individual tournament, on the girls’ side, Lucivero tied for second with a 490 series with Livingston’s Caitlin Mullen, while Carson took fifth with a 441 high series. Duffy had a 366 series.


The Nutley High School girls bowling team won the Super Essex Conference–American Division regular-season championship. Holding the championship plaque is Gabriella Lucivero. Standing from left are Julianne Carson, Gabriella Botti, Angelica Duffy, and Cassandra Nesta.

Lucivero and Carson advanced to the stepladder finals, which involved the top-five finishers. In the stepladder finals, Lucivero finished in third place and Carson finished in fifth. 

On the boys’ side, Wong had a 519 series. 

In a phone interview with the Nutley Journal on Feb. 9, Sasso was ecstatic for the girls winning the team title.

After two games, they were only up by 6 pins,” said Sasso. “It was three teams – them, Montclair and Irvington – were very close with one game. We kind of had a conversation and said, “Hey listen, it’s too close to take it easy. You gotta get out there and have a good game and take the championship,’ and they actually did that. They had a 762 game, which was phenomenal and they won by almost 200 pins.”

For Sasso, it was a joy to coach the boys and girls teams.

“They were really a good group of kids,” he said. “They came to practice and got along real well. There was good camaraderie and they were very consistent. We were very excited about the accolades that they were able to achieve.”

The NHS boys and girls teams gave good efforts at their respective state sectional tournaments.. The girls team took third place on Feb. 5 at Bowler City in Hackensack, while the boys team took fourth place on Feb. 10 at Lodi Lanes.

Photos Courtesy of Frank Sasso/NHS head coach