Smyrna, TN – In a highly competitive field the SHU women's bowling team finished in sixth place with a 9-6 match play record at the Music City Classic, playing nine matches against teams currently ranked in the top ten. Savannah Zientara (Lewiston, NY) and Nicole Trudell (Coventry, RI) each earned a spot on the all-tournament team with identical 210.5 averages in traditional games. The Pioneers biggest win of the weekend came against #3 Central Missouri while SHU lost just one match to a team ranked lower than eighth.
Sacred Heart (73-36) earned a victory in five straight matches to open the tournament during Friday's four game baker format. SHU started with triumphs over Texas Southern, 703-641, and #11 Valparaiso, 750-707. The Pioneers then posted their best score of the day knocking off the third ranked Jennies in a 868-801 decision. Sacred Heart ran its winning streak to five with wins over #8 Arkansas State and #13 Stephen F. Austin. Wisconsin-Whitewater, ranked 18th in the country, ruined the Pioneers attempt at a perfect day as the Warhawks came out on top, 807-720.
The Pioneers were unable to pick up a win Saturday's first contest, day two of the Music City Classic was contested with traditional team games. Sacred Heart rebounded from a loss to #7 Kutztown and defeated Louisiana Tech, 943-872. SHU's best performance of the event came in day two during an 1122-883 win over #9 Sam Houston State, a team that jumped over the Pioneers in the most recent NTCA poll. Jackie Carbonetto (Blauvelt, NY) shot a 265 to pace Sacred Heart in the convincing victory. However, the Pioneers fell in the next two matches to #5 Nebraska, the eventual tournament champions, and #4 Vanderbilt. The SHU day ended on a high note as head coach Becky Kregling's team toppled #19 Minnesota State, 988-906.
Sacred Heart entered Sunday's bracket in sixth place and faced Arkansas State, the fifth seed, in the first best-of-seven baker match. The Pioneers evened the series at 2-2 with a 196-194 victory in game four but the Red Wolves took the next two matches to knock off SHU, 4-2. Sacred Heart met Northeast Conference rival Kutztown in the next round and the Golden Bears edged out a 179-178 win in the first game of the set. But the Pioneers responded to claim the next four tilts and dispatch of #7 Kutztown, 4-1. Sacred Heart went to a seventh game in its final match of the event as the Pioneers again met the Red Wolves, this time in a battle for fifth place. The Jennies shot a 223 to overcome SHU's 202 and force the Pioneers to settle for sixth place in the event.
The Sacred Heart women's bowling team will have one more chance to make its case for selection to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Pioneers will be the second seed in next weekend's Northeast Conference tournament as they look to defend their 2010 crown.