The Sacred Heart Women's Bowling Team placed eighth, with an 8-5 record, in the Hawks Classic hosted by University of Maryland Eastern Shore last weekend. Rookie Corinne Maher (Brick Township, N.J.) led the team with a 20.22 frame average. The only other Pioneer to average over 200 was Jackie Carbonetto (Blauvelt, N.Y.) with 20.16 for the three days of competition.
"Everyone experienced highs and lows over the three days including the players who helped us get to Nationals last year," said Head Coach Becky Kregling. "We played all four freshmen on the roster. Each came in strong and led the team in a match. I am happy with how the new players threw shots when they came off the bench and with how the upperclassmen went to the warm-up area and came back in strong."
The Pioneers started day off Day 1 defeating Hampton University 778-773 using a line-up consisting of 5 returning players.
They suffered 10 splits the next match against No. 6 Central Missouri University, who has advanced to all nine NCAA Bowling Championships, but still took the match to the tenth frame. After having a 25-pin lead halfway through the match, Sacred Heart lost by 16 750-734.
Maher was placed in the line up to start the next match against Valparaiso, who was part of the eight teams at Nationals last year. A shaky start resulted in a tight match. Freshmen Brittany Reid (Enfield, Conn.) made her collegiate bowling debut in the match. Reid and Maher scored the highest that match to help the team to a 690-657 victory.
Next up was reigning National Champs UMES. Once again, the Pioneers were up halfway through the match, but UMES finished strong to overcome the 27-pin deficit and take the match 756-742.
The Pioneers ended the day with a lineup consisting of three freshmen and two upperclassmen for a 725-693 victory over Delaware State.
Reid led the team for Day 1 in frame average with 20.17 followed by Nicole Trudell (Coventry, R.I.) at 19.57. The team started with 207 then didn't break the 200 mark for 19 games. Overall, the Pioneers were 3-2 on the day and sat in ninth place after the first day of qualifying.
Sacred Heart started Day 2 strong with a 1036-1002 win over New Jersey City University. Reid led the team with 237.
Carbonetto's 214 was the team's lone 200 game in a 939-929 win over Howard University.
Next, SHU claimed a 946-879 victory over Morgan State with Maher's 212 being the spark.
Kate Wilson (Dighton, Mass.) got her first team match start and led the team with 234, but the Pioneers fell to Norfolk State 990-933.
In the final match, Sacred Heart had a 70-pin lead on No. 4 Vanderbilt after four frames. A slow ending with many missed spares resulted in the 998-936 loss.
Carbonetto was the team's high scorer averaging 210.2 for the day; followed by Maher at 196.2 and Wilson's 196.5.
The team remained in ninth place after two days of qualifying for seeding into the final day bracket.
The team looked solid in the final day of the bracket, defeating St. Francis (NY) 4-0 (210-155, 226-197, 203-191, 161-160) with all players equally contributing.
The second match was another solid 4-0 win over Vaparaiso (207-190, 177-168, 178-173, 224-159) with Maher leading the way with all strikes or nine-spares.
The team was pushed in the final match by No. 10 Sam Houston. After being down 3-1, the Pioneers fought back to force Game 7, but fell in the last game for a 4-3 loss (167-213, 212-218, 246-232, 222-223, 189-178, 240-195, 203-215). Maher helped the team by throwing an incredible nine strikes in a row.
"The last day all the girls were executing well so there were less errors and we ended on a positive note," said Kregling.
The Pioneers are now an even 11-11 on the year. Sacred Heart is back at it again the weekend of November 30 at Bowl America in Midlothian, Va.