By Olivia Mittleman
She’s already received a major Northeast Conference (NEC) accolade–Bowler of the Year–but senior Amanda Nardiello has even bigger plans for her final season.
“Hopefully, if I bowl well enough, I can become an All-American,” said Nardiello.
Head coach Becky Kregling believes Nardiello can achieve All-American honors before the end of her senior year.
“It’s attainable,” said Kregling. “She wasn’t that far off last year.”
Last year, at the first NEC Conference Championship meet, the team went 10-0 with Nardiello averaging 220 points.
“I became Bowler of the Week from that, and I was really happy,” said Nardiello.
The following week at the second NEC Conference Championship meet, Nardiello was awarded Bowler of the Year.
Kregling has her own set of expectations for this upcoming season.
“Every year you hope everyone has a better season than the prior year,” said Kregling. “We tweak a few minor things, but at this point it’s all about repetition.”
The team will travel for the first time of the season on Nov. 3 when they participate in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Jamboree.
“The biggest competitor there, I’d say, is FDU because we lost to them twice in NEC Championships,” said Nardiello.
In the past 3 years, the bowling team has only beaten FDU once.
“Hopefully we can beat them at their own tournament,” said Nardiello.
In addition to traveling to New Jersey, the team will also travel to Wisconsin, Delaware, and Tennessee this season.
To prepare for the upcoming season, team members began training during the offseason back in May.
“A lot of the girls bowl in summer leagues,” said senior Sarah Morris, “so it keeps them in the repetitive, weekly competition.”
This past summer Nardiello bowled in two separate summer leagues.
“Just because I was the Bowler of the Year doesn’t mean I can stop working and just expect to bowl well again,” said Nardiello. “I have to keep practicing and be dedicated to making myself a better player.”
During the school year, the bowling team practices from October until the NEC Conference Championships in March.
“During practice throughout the week we do a lot of spare and target practice,” said Nardiello.
The team’s roster carries 15 members. Five of the 15 on last season’s roster graduated in May.
“When five players graduate it becomes a different team,” said Kregling.
However, Kregling believes the change has been positive. Morris said the team culture is also different than it has been in the past.
“The seniors who graduated last year were like the center of the team,” said Morris. “Now it’s figuring out who takes over those positions. Everyone is doing what they can to help.”
Leadership roles have been shuffled around. Nonetheless, the team dynamic is still positive and the players spend time together away from the lanes as well.
“We get along well with each other,” said Nardiello. “After practice we’ll have a team breakfast or sometimes we’ll go see another game together.”
Although the team has changed since last season, their goals remain the same.
“We were ranked ninth last year,” said Kregling. “It’s a different team, but staying in the Top 10 would be an amazing thing.”
Although it’s only the beginning of Nov., Nardiello, Morris, and the rest of the team have their eyes locked on March.
“Winning the conference championship in March is the main goal,” said Kregling.