2021 Debut

Commodores head to Savannah, Tennessee, for first tournament of spring season

by Rod Williamson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt makes its 2021 debut this weekend at a recently-formed tournament at the Savannah Bowling Center in Savannah, Tennessee.

It is being called the Lady Techsters Invite as Louisiana Tech is hosting the event.

Here is more information on the first tournament of the year for the Commodores:

About this tournament: NCAA bowling coaches are having to be creative and resourceful in order to have a semblance of a season this year in the midst of the continued COVID-19 pandemic. The unlikely location of Savannah, Tennessee, was chosen as it avoids pandemic hot spots in urban areas and is geographically located somewhat in the center of the competing teams – all of whom are bussing or driving to the event. Savannah is about 2 1/2 hours from Vanderbilt’s campus.

Competing teams: Arkansas State, Lincoln Memorial, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Vanderbilt.

Weather Concerns: A Texas snowstorm over the weekend further complicated planning when Stephen F. Austin was not able to get COVID-19 testing complete until Tuesday. If that program does not get their results back quicker than normal they may not reach the tournament site until the second day of competition. Teams must have negative tests before departing their campus.

Tournament format: The over-arching goal is for teams to play as many games as possible. Standings will be determined by total pin fall during the Saturday and Sunday matches, anticipating the possible late arrival of the SFA team.

Friday will have five rounds of 5-Game Baker matches starting at 9 a.m. Saturday will have five rounds of traditional team games beginning at 9 a.m. and Sunday will have four rounds of 5-Game Bakers starting at 8:25 a.m.

Following the tournament: Vanderbilt will have its YouTube channel in action for each Commodore match.

Holiday Successes: Junior tournaments were held across the country over the holiday break and Vanderbilt bowlers dominated the individual championships. Jennifer Loredo and Mabel Cummins won titles – Loredo won the prestigious Main Event in Las Vegas while Cummins repeated as champion at the Dallas Youth Open at the USA Bowl.

Amanda Naujokas won the New Jersey Youth Bowling Tour championship in New Jersey.

Travel squad: Vanderbilt will take its entire nine-woman roster.

Last time out: The Commodores were impressive in winning Sam Houston’s Kat Klash by 707 pins in November.  Four Dores were tied for fourth or higher individually.

COVID-19 protocols continue: All team members and coaches are tested 72 hours before departure. The key parts of the tourney COVID-19 policy includes no spectators, a mask mandate, teams spread out as much as possible at the venue and daily COVID-19 checks are required. There were no incidents for Vanderbilt before, during or after the team’s two fall tournaments.