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Jurek bowls 300 in Obenauer

John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda is the first-day leader in the qualifying for the Greater Buffalo USBC Association's 49th George A. Obenauer Masters Championship at Transit Lanes despite a 300 game by PBA Tour pro Jack Jurek of Lackawanna.

Szczerbinski, a former Wichita State star, put together games of 244, 243, 255 and 212 for a four-game total of 954 in the first squad Tuesday night. Jurek, bowling in the late squad was 39 pins behind with 915, which included a 300 in the third of his four games. Jurek finished his series with a 159.

Justin Hart of Buffalo was third at 912, which included a 278, while Joe Ciccone, another Tour pro was fourth with 881.

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Djokovic advances

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic made a solid return to red-clay courts, dominating Australian teenager Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 6-3, Tuesday night to open his Italian Open title defense in Rome.

On the women's side, Serena Williams beat 46th-ranked Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-3 for her 14th consecutive victory, following titles in Charleston, S.C., and Madrid -- and two wins in Fed Cup. Also, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and defending champion Maria Sharapova won in straight sets at Foro Italico to reach the third round.

Djokovic went ahead with two early breaks and faced minimal resistance from the 19-year-old Tomic, the youngest player in the top 50 at No. 32.

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VCU jumps to A-10

VCU is looking to make the most of its rise to prominence in men's basketball and President Michael Rao said moving to the Atlantic 10 is 'the next step."

The president said at a news conference Tuesday to announce that VCU is leaving the Colonial Athletic Association to join the A-10 that "premier universities are premier across the board and that includes athletics."

From News Staff and wire service reports