Sacred Heart University junior Rachel Bamford was announced as the Northeast Conference Player of the Year on Monday, the second league Bowler of the Year in program history. The NEC also named Pioneers head coach Becky Kregling the 2020 Coach of the Year. Bamford was also named to the All-NEC First-Team, while Colby Jones earned All-NEC Second Team honors and Victoria Pacacha earned All-Rookie accolades.
Bamford, who has earned First-Team in each of the past two seasons, bowled all of the Pioneers frames this season, mostly in the anchor position. She led the league in filled frames (87.7 percent), overall spares (78.8 percent) and multi-pin makeable spares (82 percent). In addition, she led the league in makeable spares, with her 89.4 percent, nearly four percent better than the second-best average. Bamford converted 84 of 94 makeable spares in 18 NEC matches
Kregling earns the Coach of the Year award for the fourth time in the past five seasons. She led the Pioneers to a 2020 NEC Regular Season Championship, with a 13-5 record against league opponents, that included a 3-0 final day of best-of-seven competition to come from behind to win the title. Overall, the Pioneers posted a 61-36 record and were 14th in the March NTCA National Poll.
Jones earned All-NEC Second Team honors for the second time in as many seasons. On the next to last day of NEC play, she struck 62 percent of the time, averaging 22.22 pins. That effort helped the Pioneers to a 5-1 record that final weekend as they overtook frontrunning Duquesne for the league crown. Jones finished seventh in baker doubles at 40 percent, ninth in overall frame average (18.71) and fifth in multi-pin makeable spars.
Pacacha is the Pioneers first NEC All-Rooke Team selection since Casey Smith was recognized in 2016. Pacacha bowled in the final NEC meet of the season, and earned Rookie of the Week after helping SHU win the conference crown. She was second in overall average (19.28) and first in filled frames (85.5%) that weekend.
The Pioneers have had an All-NEC First Team selection in 10 consecutive seasons, with seven Pioneers amongst the 20 First-Team honorees in the past four seasons. Amanda Nardiello was the Pioneers first Bowler of the Year, earning the accolade in 2017.