March 15, 2008
SMYRNA, Tenn. — Vanderbilt posted the top team score and high individual game but trails New Jersey City University after the first day of the Columbia 300 Music City Classic.
Sixth-ranked NJCU held a 91-pin lead over the host Commodores heading into Sunday’s six rounds of Baker games. Vicki Spratford was the high individual over the treacherous lane conditions, averaging 211 in six games.
For the day, NJCU went 5-0 and Vanderbilt won all six of its games in a tourney that will be determined by total pins.
Vanderbilt posted the high team game of the day with a sterling 1,043 while Josie Earnest’s 269 was the best round of the afternoon. The Commodore sophomore had ten strikes and two spares in that sparkling game.
“It was a grind-it-out type day,” Earnest said. “Lane conditions were usually difficult but on my best game I happened to get the right ball with the right lane conditions early. At the end of the day, though, we were six and 0 and that is what is most important because that is what gets you to the NCAA Championships.”
Frank Parisi, coach of NJCU, was pleased with his team’s performance.
“The lane conditions provided a challenging shot and that proves the mettle of the teams. It was a Pattern 5 lane condition, the hardest in the NCAA.”
Parisi noted this tournament becomes increasingly important to many teams that are hoping to make their final statement to the NCAA selection committee.
Spratford, the tourney’s high individual, said she won last week’s ECAC Tournament on the identical lane conditions.
“I think bowling on the same lanes last week helped us and helped me today,” Spratford said. “We had a good day and we like to think the Baker games tomorrow are our strong suit.”
Another Commodore with a big day was Tara Kane, who actually was third individually with a 200.4 average, one of just four people to break the 200 barrier.
“I liked our team chemistry and intensity today,” said the Vanderbilt junior. “For the most part we fought hard and stayed focused.”
Nebraska, one of the team favorites, is not competing after encountering transportation problems yesterday at the Omaha airport.
The tournament concludes tomorrow with the six Baker games starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Smyrna Bowling Center. Admission is free.
Top 5 Individuals:
Vicki Spratford, NJCU 1,234
Josie Earnest, VU 1,197
Candice D’Angelo, NJCU 1,189
Tara Kane, VU 1,180
Nicole Drejekswski, NJCU 967 (5 games)
New Jersey City 5697
Central Missouri 5499
Alabama A & M 5409
Arkansas State 5378
Sacred Heart 5315
Fairleigh Dickinson 5291
Minnesota State 5060
Jackson State 5037
Morgan State 5014
St. Francis 4803
Norfolk State 4794
Fayetteville State 4786
South Carolina State 4606
North Carolina Central 4247
North Carolina A & T 4114
VU 956 Morgan State 857
VU 892 Kutztown 755
VU 1,043 St Francis 781
VU 894 Fairleigh Dickinson 888
VU 946 Adelphi 801
VU 875 Fayetteville State 743