The Sacred Heart women’s bowling team is gearing up for the final weeks of their season as they look to get back to the Northeast Conference (NEC) championship.
After falling 2-1 to Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in the NEC championship almost one year ago, Sacred Heart sits tied in first place in the NEC holding identical 12-2 records with Mount Saint Mary’s University.
“We have gained experience at tournaments and found success at the first two NECs, ” said head coach Becky Kregling. “We are bowling tournaments against some of the top teams in the country for more experience.”
Despite this being her first year on a Division I collegiate program, freshman Nancy Kohut has won four NEC rookie of the week honors, most recently on Feb. 9. It is her second consecutive rookie of the week title, having won the honor on Feb. 2 as well.
“Bowling means a lot to me,” said Kohut. “I think earning these honors has really shown off all my hard work and it’s meant a lot to me.”
Kohut’s play the weekend of Feb. 5-6, in which Sacred Heart competed in their second NEC tournament of the season, earned her the honor after accumulating a total score of 1,563 points.
The Pioneers finished the weekend with a 3-1 record with wins over Mount Saint Mary’s, FDU, and Duquesne University. They were just shy of earning a fourth victory, falling 974-968 to Saint Francis College.
Junior Hannah Mannetta has also contributed to the success of the team as the Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. native posted over 200 points in five of seven matches she played during the second NEC tournament on Feb. 6.
“I’m pretty proud of the success I’ve had so far,” said Mannetta. “I feel like I’ve had to step into the anchor role a bit and I’m doing better than last season, ”
Manetta was a part of the program last season when the Pioneers were taken down by FDU in the NEC championship.
“We have definitely been using the loss to FDU as motivation through our first two NEC meets,” said Mannetta. “We basically take it as fuel to the fire. I feel like the rest of the team understands that it’s an important matchup.”
The Pioneers will travel to Bethlehem, Pa. for the final NEC meet of the season on March 5 and conclude on March 18 at Vanderbilt University for the Music City Classic. The NEC championship tournament begins March 25 in Howell, N.J.
“It would mean a lot to win the NEC championship,” said Mannetta. “It would mean a lot to see this young team come together and show that all the hard work we’ve put in this season will pay off.”
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.