FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart University women's bowling team was picked to finish first in the NEC Bowling Preseason Coaches' Poll, released by the league on Thursday.
The Pioneers were picked to finish second last season and ended up winning the NEC Tournament to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. SHU defeated Caldwell in the opening round, then followed with an upset over top-seeded Vanderbilt, before being defeated by Nebraska and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
SHU was picked as the preseason favorite by the league's head coaches, topping the poll with five first-place votes. Mount St. Mary's followed in second with one first-place vote, Fairleigh Dickinson followed in third and Duquesne in fourth garnering a first-place vote as well. St. Francis U., LIU and St. Francis Brooklyn rounded out the poll.
Despite being picked by the league to finish first, SHU was ranked No. 11 in the National Tenpin Coaches Association 2019-20 Preseason Poll. The only NEC team ranked ahead of the Pioneers in the poll was Fairleigh Dickinson, who was slotted into the ninth spot.
Sacred Heart opens the season on Saturday, Oct. 29, when the Pioneers host the SHU Bowl for the Cure in East Haven, Conn.
2019 NEC Bowling Preseason Poll
1. Sacred Heart (5)
2. Mount St. Mary's (1)
3. Fairleigh Dickinson
4. Duquesne (1)
5. Saint Francis U
6. Long Island
7. St. Francis Brooklyn