FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The defending Northeast Conference regular-season bowling champion Sacred Heart Pioneers were picked to finish second in the NEC Bowling Preseason Poll, released on Thursday.
The Pioneers were 15-3 in league play last season on their way to a second consecutive regular season title. In last season's NEC Championship match, SHU rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force a seventh and deciding game against Fairleigh Dickinson but came up on the low end of a 199-169 scoreline.
SHU returns the reigning NEC Player of the Year in senior Amanda Nardiello. Last season, Nardiello became the first Pioneer to be named the NEC's top bowler. She led the NEC with a 21.06 overall frame average in conference play, and a 205.6 game average.
Saint Francis U was picked as the preseason favorite by the league's head coaches, topping the poll with three first-place votes. SHU picked up two first-place votes, with FDU garnering the remaining two first-place votes to take the third slot. LIU Brooklyn, Duquesne, St. Francis Brooklyn, and Caldwell round out the poll.
2017 NEC Bowling Preseason Poll
1. Saint Francis U (3 first-place votes)
2. Sacred Heart (2 first-place votes)
3. Fairleigh Dickinson (2 first-place votes)
4. LIU Brooklyn
6. St. Francis Brooklyn