The Sacred Heart women's bowling team continued to boost its 2011 win total, registering a 9-3 record at the UMES Hawk Classic. The Pioneers weekend was highlighted by victories over a pair of programs ranked in the top-three of the latest NTCA National Poll. Jacqueline Willy (Clarence, NY) paced the Pioneers with a 194 average, good for a 10th place finish, as SHU claimed the sixth position in the event's final team standings.
Sacred Heart (28-6) got off to a rocky start on day, splitting its first two matches with a win over Howard before a narrow 13 pin loss to #17 Norfolk State. However, the Pioneers would run the rest of the day one table, picking up three more victories. SHU routed North Carolina A&T and immediately went on to pick up its third "W" over the season over defending national champion, and tournament host, #2 Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Pioneers closed day one with a 4-1 record on the strength of a 736-661 victory over Morgan State.
The Pioneers kicked-off day two of the tournament with another high profile win, knocking off #3 Central Missouri in a dramatic 895-892 decision. Sacred Heart moved its win streak to six in a row after convincingly downing both Hampton and Delaware State. However, the day would end on an odd down note as after an entire traditional team game the Pioneers found themselves deadlocked with #11 Valparaiso at 761-761. The match will go down as a loss for SHU after the Crusaders got the better end of a five frame modified baker roll-off.
Sacred Heart matched up with Northeast Conference rival #6 New Jersey City in the first round of the tournament bracket. The Pioneers dispatched the Gothic Knights by winning the deciding game seven in a best of seven baker game series. SHU moved to 2-0 for day three with a second triumph over #14 Delaware State, 4-2. However, the Pioneers would have to settle for sixth place in the tournament as #3 Central Missouri got a measure of revenge in the final match of the tournament by upending Sacred Heart, 4-1.
The Pioneers 9-3 match-play mark at the event was the second best record at the UMES Classic, bettered only by #1 Fairleigh Dickinson's 9-2 performance.
The Sacred Heart bowling team returns to action in two weeks as they hit the lanes at the Jeannette Lee Invitationial.