March 21, 2010
The Pioneer women's bowling team put together a come from behind victory in the title match against defending champion Fairleigh Dickinson as they claimed the program's first Northeast Conference crown. The final match of the tournament remained tied after seven games, forcing a five frame roll off to determine a winner. Sacred Heart had a 118-106 edge after the tie breaker to finish an undefeated weekend and bring the championship to Fairfield, CT.
Sacred Heart earned its spot in the finals after defeating the #2 seed Kutztown 4-1 in a best of seven baker match. Both the sixth seeded Pioneers and fifth seeded Knights rolled into the title game with a perfect 3-0 record in the double elimination tournament. The championship game is a single match not part of the double elimination format.
Fairleigh Dickinson took the first game of the title match 216-189. Sacred Heart would quickly rebound to even the set at 1-1 with a 222-185 triumph. But the Knights took a commanding 3-1 lead with back-to-back wins, 202-189 and 177-167.
The Pioneers staged a rally and won the next game 192-174 to close the gap to 3-2. Both teams made clutch shot in a tension filled sixth game but it ultimately ended in a tie, 204-204, making it a 3.5-2.5 match.
Sacred Heart brought the drama to its climax with a 212-188 win in the seventh game to tie the match, 3.5-3.5, forcing a modified tiebreaker, where competition starts on the sixth frame.
SHU built on its momentum and after five frames the scoreboard read 118-106 in favor of Sacred Heart, making them the 2010 Northeast Conference champions. The Pioneers had a flair for the dramatic all weekend, winning two matches in a modified tie breaker and dispatching higher seeds all weekend as the #6 team in the bracket.
The 2010 championship will more than likely conclude the Pioneers season. Sacred Heart will potentially narrowly miss the eight team draw for the NCAA tournament to be announced next week. SHU was ranked 13th in the nation before its 4-0 weekend and conference championship.