#9 Sacred Heart Places Fourth at Morgan State Invitational
The Pioneer women's bowling team finished the weekend with a 7-5 match play record but still finished fourth in the overall standings at the 2011 Morgan State Invitational. SHU had a tough time against the nation's elite during the three day event, posting a 0-5 mark against teams currently ranked in the top-ten. The Pioneers were seeded fourth in bracket play through total pin fall after the first two sessions and completed the event in the same position.
Sacred Heart (58-27) opened the weekend with a 802-724 victory over tournament host Morgan State. The Pioneers then ran into a scorching hot #2 Maryland-Eastern Shore squad as the Hawks averaged 221 through the four game baker match to defeat SHU. However, that would be the only blemish against Sacred Heart in the opening day as the Pioneers rattled off three straight wins with triumphs over North Carolina A&T, #16 Delaware State, and North Carolina Central. SHU was forced to rally from a 49 pin deficit in its match with the Hornets but a 257 in the final game propelled the red and white to the victory.
The Pioneers started day two of the event with back-to-back wins over #19 Saint Peter's and Howard. #5 Vandberilt then got the best of SHU in a 989-880 decision that saw freshman Nicole Trudell (Coventry, RI) roll a 205. Sacred Heart rebounded with a 98 pin victory against Hampton in the next match as Sarah Pelletier (Lewiston, ME) shot the Pioneers best game of the day with a 213. However, NEC rival #7 New Jersey City finished the SHU day on a down note, escaping with a 915-880 win over Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers fell to #4 Nebraska, who entered the bracket as the top seed, in the opening round of the final day. Sacred Heart held a 2-1 and 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven baker game format before the Huskers rallied back. SHU lost game seven by just six pins, 173-167, and were forced into the consolation match. The Commodores downed Sacred Heart for the second time in the event with a 4.5-1.5 triumph to claim third place, sending the Pioneers to fourth overall.
Trudell paced Sacred Heart with a 19.48 frame average for the weekend while Jacqueline Willy (Clarence, NY) was close behind at 18.52.
The SHU women's bowling team returns to action for the third Northeast Conference meet of the season March 5-6. The Pioneers will begin play in a tie for first place in the NEC standings with a 14-4 record in league action.