After the Sacred Heart Women's Bowling team took third place amougnst a tough field at the Kutztown Invitational last weekend, Pioneers sweep the Northeast Conference weekly awards with Jackie Carbonetto (Blauvelt, N.Y.) being named this week's NEC Player of the Week and Corrine Maher (Brick Township, N.J.) the NEC Rookie of the week.
Competing amongst a number of the nation's top teams and bowlers, Carbonetto and the Pioneers must have felt right at home at the 28-team Kutztown University Invitational. With its 2012 NTCA All-American and Junior Team USA member leading the way, No. 12 Sacred Heart won 12 of 15 matches it contested at the three-day tournament that welcomed 15 nationally-ranked programs to Hiester Lanes in Reading, PA. Only tournament champion, and reigning NCAA champion, Maryland-Eastern Shore (14-1) posted a better win-loss record over the course weekend than Sacred Heart's 12-3 mark. Carbonetto's 21.18 frame average was a key factor in SHU's third-place finish, which was the highest of the 10 NEC teams on hand at the three-day event. The senior righty's clutch play from the anchor position proved to be the difference in a number of Sacred Heart's wins. As her head coach Becky Kregling pointed out, "She struck all but one time when we needed her to in order to win or tie. Thirteen matches or best-of-seven baker games came down to the 10th frame, and Jackie rose to the occasion, coming through in 12 of those instances." Kregling also noted that there were five occasions during which the team needed a 10th frame double from its anchor bowler and Carbonetto did not once let her team down in that spot. In all she threw 115 strikes to lead all NEC bowlers at the tournament, which was comprised of quad baker matches, traditional team games and championship bracket best-of-seven baker play. Nearly as impressive as her .587 strike percentage was Carbonetto's efficiency converting spares. She left only 16 open frames the entire weekend with 10 of those opens coming on splits. Accounting for an .882 filled frames percentage, Carbonetto failed to convert only one one-pin spare out of the 40 she attempted. She was at her best during Sunday's championship baker format, averaging 22.50 pins per frame that day. One day earlier, she posted a 204.0 traditional team game average over six matches. After contributing a 228-pin performance in a 1007-889 win over No. 3 Vanderbilt, Carbonetto bailed out the Pioneers with a 10th frame double that solidified an 18-pin triumph over Florida A&M.
Maher was battling more than just a talent-laden field at the 28-team Kutztown University Invitational. The first-year Pioneer fought through a nagging injury and averaged 20.3 pins per frame at the three-day tournament that featured 15 teams ranked in the NTCA Top 20. A fixture in SHU's lineup throughout the entire duration of the event, Maher filled 116 of 135 frames bowled. Maher, who recently made some adjustments in her game to offset the nagging injury, was sensational during quad baker play on Friday. She posted a 21.8 frame average for the day, and, in the words of head coach Becky Kregling, was "the fuel which kept the team going on Friday." Maher cashed in on 27 of the 48 strike opportunities she faced on Friday, including a string on nine straight strikes spanning the back end of SHU's opening match against Norfolk State and the front end of the bout with Wisconsin-Whitewater. Maher started slow on Saturday, but was able to rediscover her success midway through the traditional team portion of the meet. After not eclipsing the 187-pin mark in any of her first three traditional games, she closed the day by throwing a 202, a 211 and a 227 to finish with a 196.7 game average.