Bowlers struggle at MCC

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SMYRNA, Tenn. – The lane conditions were set up to be difficult and few teams at the eighth annual Columbia 300 Music City Classic had more difficulty than the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The tournament hosts found themselves 13th – far back in the pack of 20 squads – heading into what will be an important six games of traditional team bowling Saturday.

Central Missouri and Arkansas State traded turns leading this strong field and at day’s end, it was the Jennies nosing ahead, powered by the day’s best 4-game Baker set of 907. Central has a 42 pin lead on the Red Wolves with Sam Houston third and Stephen F. Austin fourth.

The Commodores had a frustrating day on their home lanes, a tournament they have won but twice in the prior seven years. But today’s 3-3 mark with modest scores was one of its low ebbs.

“We had 29 missed makeable spares,” said a disappointed Coach John Williamson. “We just can’t do that. We talked afterwards about the importance of making tomorrow a good day. We’ve dug ourselves into a pretty deep hole.”

Vanderbilt senior Brittni Hamilton didn’t have many answers, either.

“We went into today believing we were going to bowl well,” Hamilton said. “but it feels as though this was as bad as we’ve performed all season. We knew coming in that the shot was going to be difficult and the scores would probably be lower. I’ve seen some pretty big moves made on tournament Saturday’s and you never know what will happen.”

The Commodores opened the day losing to Sacred Heart, then nosed Nebraska by a single pin on Hamilton’s 10th frame strike. That win was followed by a loss to Stephen F. Austin, wins over New Jersey City and Adelphi and a loss in the finale to Monmouth, a team coached by former Vanderbilt All-American Karen Grygiel.

Vanderbilt tried almost every lineup conceivable, including switching the rotation order, in hopes of finding a spark. None was to be found.

Competition begins Saturday at noon at the Smyrna Bowling Center. The tournament is being live-streamed on with veteran Lucas Wiseman providing commentary.Complete match results are found on the attachments.