The SHU women's bowling team finished seventh in pinfall but more importantly posted the tournament's second best record at 10-3 this weekend at the FDU New Jersey Jamboree. The Pioneers never crossed paths with tournament host and defending national champion Fairleigh Dickinson, who won the event with a 12-1 record. Nicole Caggiano (Woodbridge, NJ) averaged 206 during individual games to lead Sacred Heart and place sixth overall.
The Pioneers opened the tournament with back-to-back wins against non-ranked teams in the four game pinfall baker format that was used on the day one. Sacred Heart downed Bethune-Cookman 708-639 before a closer victory over Hampton, 623-597. The fourth ranked Vandberbilt Commodores handed SHU its first loss but the Pioneers rebounded the next series with a 788-635 blowout against Howard. Sacred Heart finished the day 4-1 overall with a win over #7 Delaware State, 713-688.
Caggiano sixth place performance came into play on day two, which used a five-man team game format. The Pioneers opened the afternoon by pulling out a 923-888 victory versus #9 Kutztown. SHU shot its high game of the tournament in a 999-917 triumph over #16 Morgan State. The Pioneers then picked up their biggest win of the weekend by downing the second ranked team in the country, Maryland Eastern-Shore, 956-928. Sam Houston State and #18 Florida A&M where the final two teams to fall to Sacred Heart on the day, improving the Pioneers to 9-1 for the tournament.
SHU played three extremely tight matches Sunday afternoon in the bracket portion of the event in a best-of-seven baker game series. Kutztown gained some revenge on the Pioneers with a 4-3.5 win that was decided in a five frame roll-off after the teams could not be separated after seven games. Then it was #13 Adelphi who broke the hearts of SHU with a 168-158 triumph in game seven. Sacred Heart again to a seventh game in the final match of the tournament against #8 New Jersey City. This time the Pioneers earned the dramatic victory as they shot 236 to convincingly take game seven and finish the event with a 10-3 overall record.
The women's bowling team returns to action next weekend for the first Northeast Conference meet of the season as the Pioneers look to defend their 2009-10 NEC championship.