By: Lauren Lowther
The Sacred Heart women’s bowling team competed in Arlington, TX on the weekend of Feb. 2 at the Prairie View A&M Invitational. They placed sixth overall.
One member of the team, senior Amanda Nardiello, was named the Tournament MVP.
“Honestly it was really awesome because not only did I compete against my teammates but also against Team USA members who are competing for the country,” said Nardiello.
She ended up with a 236 average at the end of the three-day tournament. Nardiello also has personal goals for this season.
“Looking ahead I am hoping to bowl well in the NEC (North Eastern Conference) tournaments and hopefully achieve an All-American status,” said Nardiello. “Similar to last year, I ended the season with ‘Bowler of the Year’ with NEC so hopefully, I can accomplish that again.”
Nardiello and freshman Rachel Bamford were named NEC Bowler and Rookie of the Week, respectively, on Feb. 7 for their performances at the Prairie View A&M Invitational.
The bowling season goes from October through March, which can be challenging for a Division I bowling athlete.
“Somehow you manage to get it done,” said Nardiello. “You just have to prioritize your work, be organized, and know what’s coming up in the future.”
Another bowler on the team, sophomore Tori Boughton, developed personal moments with the team before she was even an official member.
“One of my favorite moments was watching the team win NEC championships when I was still a senior in high school,” said Boughton. “I had already signed here and I went to watch them bowl at NEC championships and they ended up winning, so that one of my best pre-college memories. Now just bowling with the team every weekend is a lot of fun and makes for some of the best times.”
Boughton knows that the team’s chemistry has played a large role in their success.
“We are very close. We know a lot about each other and we spend a lot of time together. I would not want it any other way because we are a family,” said Boughton.
Head coach Becky Kregling has been at Sacred Heart since the inception of the bowling team in 1993. Kregling earned “NEC Coach of the Year” along with the NEC Championship in 2016. The Pioneers have earned two titles in three years under Kregling’s leadership.
She loves coaching, specifically with the Sacred Heart community.
“Sacred Heart is a neat community in general and to be a part of the lives of everyone really comes through. And not to mention competing,” said Kregling. “Watching everyone grow on and off the lanes provides a good reason to stay.”
Kregling maintains a positive outlook for the remainder of the season.
“I am really hoping we get to the postseason and Nationals this year. I am hoping March is big, so we are bowling in April, ” said Kregling.
Kregling has also reflected positively on the team’s future and the seniors who are graduating.
“Two girls are graduating early which was never the plan, and we have four graduating in May, so again it will be a whole different team,” said Kregling.
The team is eager for the new Bobby Valentine Recreation Center, as there will be bowling lanes installed for the team.
“It will change the whole team’s dynamics,” said Kregling.
The Pioneers will compete from Feb. 23-25 at the Northeast Conference meet in Farmingdale, N.Y.