Elmwood Park, NJ – The SHU women's bowling team picked up six victories over ranked opponents, including two over reigning national champion Maryland-Eastern Shore, as the Pioneers open the 2011-12 season with an 11-2 match play record at the FDU New Jersey Jamboree. The Pioneers finished fourth overall in the event while host Fairleigh Dickinson eventually claimed the tournament championship but only posted a 9-4 match play record.
Sacred Heart (11-2) opened the three-tournament with convincing back-to-back victories over Morgan State and Bethune Cookman. However, SHU would fall to #9 Sam Houston State, the only team to defeat the Pioneers at the event, by a narrow 764-751 in the opening day's four game baker format. SHU would quickly rebound and defeat #4 Vanderbilt by 41 pins and round out a 4-1 day with a rout of Howard.
Things only got better for the Pioneers on day two as the team rolled to a perfect 5-0 record in traditional team game matches. Sacred Heart's biggest match of the day prompted its biggest pinfall, a 1013-968 triumph over the defending NCAA champion Hawks. SHU carried its momentum into the final two matches of the day, downing #18 Wisconsin-Whitewater and #13 Stephen F. Austin.
Nicole Trudell (Coventry, RI) and Jacqueline Willy (Clarence, NY) paced the Pioneers averaging 197 and 196, respectively. Willy's high game of the day was a 247 against the Hawks of UMES while Trudell notched a 249 versus #18 Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The Pioneers opened the final day of the event, which consisted of a best of seven baker game format, with a 4-1 win over NEC rival #7 Kutztown. UMES and Sacred Heart met again in the middle match of the afternoon and the Hawks had things going their way with a 3-1 advantage. However, SHU won back-to-back games to force a deciding game seven. The Pioneers capped off their second victory over UMES with a 188-182 decision in game seven. The final match of the day saw #9 Sam Houston State end the Pioneers nine match winning streak with a 4.5-1.5 verdict.
Sacred Heart will host the first Northeast Conference meet of the season next weekend in Wallingford, CT.