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Viviani Law Firm, Club Vitu Lazio win World Series of Bocce women’s, open divisions

Todd Dewan
Sports editor
Posted 7/18/22

The 47th World Series of Bocce was a family affair. ...

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Viviani Law Firm, Club Vitu Lazio win World Series of Bocce women’s, open divisions


ROME — The 47th World Series of Bocce was a family affair.

Viviani Law Firm, consisting of sisters Kristin Ciotti, Tammy Dimezzo, Robin Lanzi and Kim Luczak won the 33-team women’s division of the 2022 World Series of Bocce Sunday at sun-drenched Toccolana Club. Viviani Law Firm, of Rome, defeated Toccolana Club 16-10 in a hard-fought final to win $3,200.

Amanda Cortese-Kolasz teamed up with her mother Gail Cortese, Stephanie Calicchia and Sue Hluska to represent host Toccolana Club. It was the fifth year the team has played together.

In the 98-team open division, Club Vitu Lazio No. 21, out of South Glens Falls, beat Tri-State Bocce, out of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, 16-11 to win the $8,000 championship.

Dimezzo, Lanzi and Luczak won 13 times with their mother Donna Ciotti as Liquor Express and are in the Guiness Book of World Records for that feat. It’s their third time playing together as a “sister squad” with two runner-ups (2018 and 2019) before Sunday. The World Series wasn’t held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kristin Ciotti won a pair of bocce titles before joining her sisters.

“It’s our first win with the four sisters, so it’s special,” Luczak said.

Lanzi echoed Luczak’s sentiment.

“It’s nice to win with the four of us,” Lanzi said.

Viviani Law Firm defeated Toccolana Club 16-11 in the winner’s bracket final rallying from a 7-1 deficit. In the championship, Viviani Law Firm rallied again from a 10-5 deficit to win 16-10.

“We never give up and try to pick each other up,” Lanzi said.

Cortese-Kolasz was proud of the way Toccolana Club played over the four-day tournament.

“We have finished third a couple of times, so this is our best finish yet,” Cortese-Kolasz said. “We played well today (Sunday). We played well the whole tournament. Our two losses were to a multi-time champion. Nothing to be ashamed of there.”

Kenny’s Home Improvement finished third in the women’s division, followed by James Mitsubishi fourth and 7 Hamlets Brewing Company fifth.

In the open division, champion Club Vitu Lazio consisting of 1988 Rome Free Academy graduate Marco Cignarale, Pete Russo of South Glens Falls and Rochester father-son tandem of Felice Scala and Natale Scala. Runner-up Tri-State Bocce was made up of Gianni Colaizzi, James Oma, Ron Reeher and Tim Wilson.

It was the third time that Cignarale and Russo won the World Series. They also won it in 2009 and 2012 and were runner-up in 1985 and 2019.

“I started playing in the World Series in 1984,” said Cignarale, who lives in New Milford, Connecticut. “I’ve played with Pete the whole time and started playing with Felice in 2006. This is the first year that Natale played with us. It was nice. It’s always good to win. It’s been a little while. Ten years.”

Wickliffe 1&A, out of Ohio, placed third in the open division, followed by King Pin Lanes, of Rome, fourth and Those Guys, out of Massachusetts, fifth.

King Pin Lanes consisted of Bernie Froio, Paul Louis, John Rodriguez and Andy Sweeney.

“I’m very pleased. It feels good,” said Rodriguez who won the World Series in 2016 with Froio and Louis. “It was a fantastic weekend. Jam-packed Friday and Saturday nights. The weather was great.”

Cignarale was impressed with the turnout of 131 teams after a two-year hiatus of the tourney due to the pandemic.

“I’m absolutely impressed,” Cignarale said. “It’s basically back to were they left off. We lucked out with the weather. It was good weather, good food, good bands. It was a good time.”

Luczak agreed with Cignarale.

“It’s wonderful to be back. It’s been a while and nice to have the tournament back. It’s a fun, family-tradition,” Luczak said. “We would like to thank Louie (Viviani). It’s his second year sponsoring us.”

Lanzi added, “It’s a fun weekend. We saw people, we haven’t seen in years because of COVID. It was great seeing people having fun.”

Event co-organizer Mike Ferlo was “extremely pleased” with this year’s tourney. He estimated 8,000 spectators on Friday night.

“It was a great tournament. Rome needed that business,” Ferlo said. “Cars were parked all over the place. Things ran very smooth. There were no issues.”

Best of the Rest

The team of Joe Froio, Mike Panara, Roger Panara and Lynn Opper won the Best of the Rest Tournament Sunday.

The squad of Ferlo, Andy Decarolis, Phil Impicciatore and Joe Mellace finished second.

Visit:,138051 to see a photo gallery from the World Series of Bocce, July 14-17.


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