BY Mikenzie Carbone
The Sacred Heart University women’s bowling team played in their first Northeast Conference (NEC) meet of the season over the weekend of Nov. 9-10 in Mechanicsburg, Penn. The Pioneers split the matches going 3-3 on the weekend to conclude the teams third meet of the season to bring the overall record to 11-12.
On Oct. 9 Sacred Heart defeated Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU) 994-944 with a high-match of 218 in the five game set, and Saint Francis University 982-897. The Pioneers fell to St. Francis Brooklyn 208-124 and Long Island Post (LIU) 960-886.
“As a team this weekend was one of our better performing weekends in terms of score,” said senior bowler Tori Boughton. “There is still a lot of room for improvement, our game is definitely not at the caliber that we can bowl at, but it is better than the first two meets.”
On Oct. 10 the Pioneers finished the meet with a win over Mount Saint Mary’s 929-894, and a loss to Duquesne 998-949. Sacred Heart split the overall matches going 2-2 on Saturday and 1-1 on Sunday.
During the second meet of the season at the Caldwell Cougar Classic the Pioneers went 5-5, and scores ranged between mid 800’s and mid 900’s. After the first two meets head coach Becky Kregling had the players focus on the basics, and on their physical game to better the scores in hope for higher results.
“Our strikes and spares weren’t very good so we concentrated on spares and hitting the pocket. Bowling is a lot of repetitive motion, you just have to get the ball off the same way with more effort,” said Kregling. “It showed because the scores were much better in the NEC meet, we met our goal.”
The Pioneers had multiple high game sets during the NEC Conference meet. Sacred Heart had a high match of 218 against FDU, 213 against St. Francis, four games surpassing 200 against LIU, and scored over 200 points against Duquesne and Mount St. Mary’s.
Sacred Heart is coming off of a strong season. Last year the Pioneers had a successful NCAA Tournament appearance, when competing in the Elite Eight matchup, and ended up defeating Vanderbilt the top seeded team.
“We ended on such a good note it is hard to live up to that, but I think every week the team and myself have been progressing with each tournament,” said junior bowler Rachel Bamford. “Especially with the freshman coming in, they are getting more experience, and we are getting better. We have a really good team dynamic.”
The Bobby Valentine Athletic Center includes a new bowling alley that the bowling team has taken to their advantage. The team no longer has to travel to practice, but can walk in, and practice whenever they want to outside of the team coordinated practices.
“The convenience of it is amazing, we can put down tough shots that we want to practice on,” said Kregling. “The machines allow us to shoot individual spares, which you can’t do anywhere else in the state of Connecticut.”
The new technology allows the Pioneers to practice in a real life game setting by setting up shots that focus on the teams weaknesses to strengthen their overall technique.
There are two more meets remaining for the fall season. The Pioneers are back in action Nov. 22-24 to compete at the UMES Hawk Classic, in Millsboro, Del.