Women’s Bowling: Looking For a Three Peat

The Sacred Heart University (SHU) women’s bowling team, founded by Coach Becky Kregling in 1993, is celebrating three decades of growth.

They have won back-to-back Northeast Conference (NEC) championships.

“I was in my 20’s and a competitive local bowler when Rob Cottle, who had already launched the men’s team a season prior, reached out to me about coaching a college team. Despite having no coaching experience, I accepted the offer,” said Kregling.

From beginning with a budget of just $2,000, where team members had to cover practice, meals, and most travel expenses out of pocket, the team has risen to prominence as a National College Athletic Association (NCAA) championship sport.

Last season marked not only the team’s 30th season, but also Coach Kregling’s 30th season at the helm.

A pivotal moment in the team’s journey was the elevation of college bowling to NCAA championship status in 2004. At the time, only 40 teams sponsored bowling, but last season, the number surged past 100.
“We are a different team working to be successful on the lanes this year. I always looked forward to improving and not living in past successes,” said Kregling.

Her quiet and focused approach is something she passes on to her student-athletes, emphasizing the importance of humility, self-belief, and teamwork.

“Coming off back-to-back NEC Championships definitely gives everyone on the team something to strive for. The feeling after winning our conference championship both years has been indescribable. We also celebrated our championship with a ring ceremony, which was a reminder of how our hard work leads to great things,” said senior Paige Donavan.

The team was ranked 17th in the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) poll heading into this season

“Collectively, I don’t think we feel much pressure. We know what we are capable of and what we want to accomplish. We’re always focused on the day we’re on so we can reach our end goal of being champions again in the future,” said junior Rachel Glowniak.

Glowniak was named NEC Rookie of the Year in her debut season.

“Winning NEC Rookie of the Year gave me more confidence that I made the right decision to bowl at this level. This season, I’m using practice to improve my release, have more revolutions on the ball for a higher strike percentage, and practice shooting more spares for better accuracy,” she said.

“I’ve also been trying to help our freshmen feel more comfortable with the team. The freshmen are the future of the team, so I want to help set them up for success the best I can,” said Glowniak.

Going into their 2023-2024 season, the SHU women’s bowling team is the favorite to win the NEC for the third consecutive year.

“It is an honor to be picked first by other coaches, but we honestly do not talk about the preseason poll. We keep moving forward with our goals, staying focused on our journey ahead,” said Kregling.

Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.

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