The Sacred Heart University women’s bowling team is heading back to the NCAA tournament, after defeating Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) on March 26 to win their second straight Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship.
This win marks the Pioneers’ third NEC title over the past four seasons, previously winning in 2022 and 2019. It also became the program’s sixth NEC title of all time, bringing home the championship in 2010, 2012 and 2016, as well.
“It felt amazing to win the title again,” said senior Hannah Manetta. “We knew going in it would take hard work and a lot of fight, but it felt so good to win with this group of girls.”
SHU began the weekend with a 2-0 win over Saint Francis University (SFU) on Friday, March 24. Later that day, they took on the number one seed FDU, winning the matchup 2-1. This allowed them to move into the second round of the winners bracket on Saturday, March 25.
Their hot play continued into Saturday, as the Pioneers dominated against Duquesne, sweeping the match 2-0. This moved them into the championship game against FDU.
“The preparation was a lot of practice working on individual prep, and figuring out how to work together best as a team. We had a couple of group meetings to see what would work best,” said freshman Megan Prettyman.
The Deptford, N.J. native’s stellar play this season granted her a selection to the NEC all-rookie team.
After losing the first traditional match against FDU on Sunday, March 26, the girls fought back to earn a 1114-950 victory. Both teams were tied heading into a best-of-seven match as SHU and FDU exchanged wins with one another in the first four games.
The Pioneers locked in and took the final two games, with a tremendous effort from sophomore Rachel Glowniak.
Glowniak was the final bowler for the Pioneers in the game, and she won it all as she knocked down a strike in the final frame to give SHU the 2023 NEC Championship title.
“As a first year, I didn’t get to win the conference with the team last year, but I had been committed and watched from home,” said Prettyman. “It was awesome to be able to watch this team win, and it felt even better to be a part of it.”
The women will head to Rochester, N.Y. for their NCAA match up with Arkansas State University on April 7.
“The thought process for Arkansas is pretty confident to be honest,” said Manetta. “We’ve beaten them twice this season, and if we bowl like we all know we can, we definitely have a chance at going to the Final Four.”
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.