Bowlers ranked sixth in new poll

Dec. 14, 2011

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Despite a fall campaign in which it won one team championship and added a second and third place finish in three of the strongest tournaments in the nation, Vanderbilt’s bowling team dropped from second place into a tie for sixth in the latest poll conducted by the National Ten Pin Coaches Association (NTCA).

The Commodores share sixth with Central Missouri and trail Valparaiso, Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Sam Houston State in the latest standings.

“We have never placed an emphasis on the poll, whether it was in good times or otherwise, so we will not spend a lot of time analyzing how the voting went this month,” said Coach John Williamson. “What we think was important to our team is that we were in three quality tournaments against very good competition and we were a factor in the championship each and every time. I suspect this month the voters put a high premium on the won-loss records of each program, which is inexact but one way to sort things out. It is good for the sport to have some new blood at or near the top, especially this time of year and those programs certainly enjoyed good fall seasons.”

Vanderbilt was second at the Fairleigh Dickinson Invitational, then won the UMES Hawk Classic and ended its fall with a third place finish at Sam Houston State’s new event.

“We learned a lot during those tournaments,” Williamson says. “We were able to get several freshmen in the lineup, we experimented with different combinations and in general came away knowing what we have to improve upon.Senior Brittni Hamilton, a three-time All-American, made the all-tournament team at each event. Junior Jessica Earnest had two Top 10 finishes and senior Samantha Hesley had one.

The Commodores return to action at eighth-rated Arkansas State’s Mid-Winter Classic January 13.