BY COLIN CANNATA
The Sacred Heart women’s bowling team achieved a second-place finish among the 17 competing teams at the Hawk Classic tournament in Millsboro, DE on Nov. 18. The team’s next meet will be the first Northeast Conference (NEC) meet of the season.
According to Sacred Heart athletics, sophomore Rachel Bamford was honored with, “NEC Bowler of the Week,” honors on Nov. 23. She had an NEC high 21.08 pins per frame and 65 strikes in her 132 chances, for a .492 success rate.
“The NEC Bowler of the Week honors was so exciting, and I feel so honored and humbled to have been chosen this week,” said Bamford. “I work hard on my game during practices, and I’m always trying to get better and I was so happy to see my hard work pay off.”
Head coach Becky Kregling thinks a lot of Rachel’s success stems from her mentality.
“Rachel was impressively solid and consistent for all three days. Part of her effectiveness are her emotions which prevents her from making mistakes when all 10 pins do not fall on the first ball,” said Kregling. “She made 53 of 55 makeable spares which is 96 percent and that’s something you don’t see too often at the college level.”
Bamford’s performance, along with that of her team, was good enough to place them only behind the reigning National Champions, Vanderbilt University.
“The weekend proved that we can compete with the best teams when we are at our best,” said Kregling.
The team is now transitioning their focus to the NEC meet from Dec. 1–2, in Mechanicsburg, PA. Bamford believes that camaraderie will be essential to success.
“The most important thing this weekend at NEC’s for our team to succeed is that we have to work together. We need to support each other on the good shots, and pick each other up when we’re struggling and never give up,” said Bamford.
Kregling said that the team’s confidence has not changed and has the ability to make quality shots to fill frames with strikes and spares.
“Last year we went to Nationals in Nebraska and finished third and our team is a different group of players this year, but I have no doubt in my mind that we are capable of getting there again,” said Bamford.
The team has high goals as they look ahead towards the rest of the season.
“I would love to win the NEC Championship after a hard loss last year, but even if we don’t make it as far as hoped, as long as our team bowls the best we can, I will be proud, and it will still be successful in my eyes,” said Bamford. “I think it’d be nice for people to be more aware that we are a great team, and bowling is an extremely competitive sport.”