NASHVILLE, TN (March 9, 2014)—Out of a field of 29, which feature 19 of the top 20 teams in the country, the Sacred Heart bowling team finished twelfth at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic hosted by Vanderbilt University.
"Our young team had its highs and lows again this weekend," said Head Coach Becky Kregling. "We started poorly and got up as high as seventh in the strongest field of the year, which shows we have a very bright future ahead."
The Pioneers dropped their first match of the tournament tallying their lowest score of the weekend of 695 in the five-pin loss to Jackson State. With that behind them, Sacred Heart went on to win its next two matches.
The Pioneers picked up their first win defeating Prairie View A&M 750-700. After alternating wins and losses through the first three games, Sacred Heart played well in the fourth to earn the victory. Sophomore Jayna Tartaglia (Rye Brook, N.Y.) struck five of her eight frames in the baker match, and filled the other three for spares.
The Sacred Heart bowling team picked up their second victory in a row as they defeated University of Wisconsin Whitewater 809-728. With improved performances by everyone in the lineup, Nicole Trudell (Coventry, R.I.) filled all eight frames with four strikes.
Bowling for overall pinfall with a bye in the fourth round, the Pioneers totaled their high for qualifying of 840. Trudell led the way striking on seven of her eight shots. Tartaglia and Corrine Maher (Brick Township, N.J.) threw half their balls for strikes, but filled all frames.
After having a bye in round four, the Pioneers lost a tough one to No. 14 Valparaiso 746-717.
The final match of the day would feature Sacred Heart against tournament host Vanderbilt University. Despite a valiant effort by the Pioneers; Vanderbilt posted four straight games of at least 200 and took the victory 864-742.
The Pioneers finish 3-3 on Saturday with big wins over Alabama A&M, Stephen F. Austin, and Central Missouri. Sacred Heart started the day off right with a 966-782 win over AAM. Freshman Amanda Tyrell (Selden, N.Y.) posted the second highest score of the day with 237.
The No. 12 Pioneers upset No. 6 team in the country Stephen F. Austin in the second team match of the day. Tartaglia came through with a huge triple in the tenth frame to propel Sacred Heart to a close three-point win, 958-955, which moved the Pioneers into seventh place in the standings. Freshman Lauren Hoffman (Monroe Township, N.J.) led the way with a score of 215. Hers being just one of three 200+ games, Tyrrell and Trudell recorded 203 and 202 games respectively.
After a great win, Sacred Heart dropped the next three matches to No. 2 Nebraska (1027-864), No. 7 Sam Houston State (970-842) and No. 15 McKendree (880-874).
The Pioneers saved their best for last by posting an impressive score of 1028 against UCM. Tyrell and Trudell both tossed 200 games, while sophomore Jayna Tartaglia posted the high score of the day with a 238.
"It was great to see the girls pull themselves together and end on a high note like that," said Kregling.
Falling to eleventh in overall scoring by the end of qualifying, Sacred Heart entered Sunday's bracket as the 12 seed and started the day facing fellow Northeast Conference member Kutztown.
The Pioneers picked up a decisive 4-1 win over the Golden Bears in the best of seven match. After taking the first three 203-187, 210-203 and 191-172, Sacred Heart couldn't complete the sweep dropping the fourth game to Kutztown 205-190. But with everyone bowling well, and Trudell coming through in the anchor spot, SHU managed the win in the fifth game 240-215 to take the match.
The Pioneers would go onto lose two hard fought matches against Sam Houston and Kutztown both by the score of 3-4.
In one of her best days of the season, Trudell averaged 22.7 pins per frame on Sunday.
The Music City Classic concludes the regular season for the Pioneers, who head out to Altoona, Pa. in two weeks to compete for the Northeast Conference Championship. Next weekend, SHU will compete in bowling's National Governing Body's sectional qualifier for the collegiate national championship.