October 22, 2010

Defending NEC Champion Bowling Picked Third In Preseason Poll

After claiming the 2010 Northeast Championship as the #6 seed the SHU women's bowling team has been picked third in this year's preseason coaches poll.  The Pioneers rallied from a 3-1 deficit, in a best of seven format, in the title match to defeat eventual national champion Fairleigh Dickinson.  Despite finishing the season as one of the hottest teams in the nation the Pioneers were left out of the NCAA tournament field.  Sacred Heart claimed the #9 spot in the final national rankings, making them the bubble team in selection for the big dance.

SHU has made the eight team NCAA field in four of the last seven years but have narrowly missed out in each of the last two seasons.  The Pioneers return two top bowlers from the 2009-10 campaign in senior Sarah Pelletier (Lewiston, ME) and junior Savannah Zientara (Lewiston, NY).  Sacred Heart claimed a single first place vote en route to being selected third in the preseason rankings, behind defending NCAA champion Fairleigh Dickinson and Kutztown, the #2 seed in last year's NEC tournament.

2010-11
Northeast Conference Bowling
Preseason Coaches Poll 
1. Fairleigh Dickinson (7)
2. Kutztown (2)
3. Sacred Heart (1)
4. New Jersey City
5. St. Francis (NY)
6. Adlephi
7. Saint Peter's
8. Monmouth
9. Long Island
10. Saint Francis (PA)

New Jersey City University, the reigning NEC regular season champions, took fourth in the standings behind the Pioneers.  St. Francis (NY), Adelphi, and Saint Peters grabbed the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots, respectively.  Monmouth is tabbed to finish eighth in its inaugural season of bowling, picked just ahead of Long Island, who is in its third year.  Another first-year program, Saint Francis (PA), rounds out the 2010-11 preseason poll.

The Pioneers begin the season November 5 traveling to Fairleigh Dickinson to compete in a tournament hosted by the defending national champions.