Hamilton Township, N.J. (March 23, 2019) – The Mount St. Mary's women's bowling team will play No. 18 Sacred Heart in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship match on Sunday after defeating both No. 9 Saint Francis U and No. 8 Fairleigh Dickinson in Saturday's elimination matches.
The Mount opened competition Saturday with a match against a senior-led Red Flash program hoping to defend their NEC crown from last year. The Mount took the traditional leg of the mega match by a final score of 941-792. Freshman Barbara Hawes led the way with a 235 game and Freshman Ashley Santos pitched in with a 200.
SFU rebounded against the Mountaineers with a narrow 956-928 advantage in the quint baker format, setting up a best-of-seven format with season-ending implications. The Mount responded tremendously under pressure, sweeping SFU with scores of 231-144, 228-199, 219-192, and 215-202.
Up next was an afternoon mega match with the Knights of Fairleigh Dickinson, whom lost to Sacred Heart in the morning session. FDU took a 1-0 lead in the mega match with a red-hot 1,069-883 in the traditional format. Hawes led the way with a 203 game.
With their season on the line, the Mountaineers responded in the quint baker format with a 1,021-912 advantage, setting up yet another best-of-seven with season-ending implications.
The Mount sent the Knights home with a 4-1 best-of-seven win, featuring games of 182-179, 223-183, 184-212, 224-198 and 244-179. On the day, Freshman Rebecca Dodson led the Mount in baker frame average with a 21.59. Stanton also contributed with a 21.43 baker frame average.
With the two elimination match wins, the Mount will move on to play Sacred Heart in the championship match.
"This is a team that has thrived under pressure all season long," said Head Coach Kenneth DeGraaf. "We were not able to sweep a mega match today, but we know as long as we can get to the best-of-seven format our confidence is sky high as that has been our best format all season long. The support today from our fans and the Mount community was huge, and we look forward to feeding off that tomorrow."
In order to be crowned Northeast Conference Champions and receive an automatic bid to the NCAA National Tournament, the Mount will have to defeat Sacred Heart twice on championship Sunday. If the Mount can defeat SHU in the opening mega match, the two will battle it out in a best-of-seven for the Championship title and an automatic bid into the NCAA National Tournament. Competition will begin at 9:00 a.m., and will be streamed live on NECfrontrow.com.