NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt came in fifth in the latest National Ten Pin Coaches Association poll conducted by the nation’s head bowling coaches after a fall campaign in which the Commodores struggled to find consistency.
The Commodores showed flashes of the potential that had earned them the No. 1 pre-season ranking, but gaps in execution and spare conversion left them with second, fourth and fifth place finishes in the three tournaments in which they competed.
In what the NTCA labeled the tightest poll in its history, McKendree edged out Sam Houston State and Nebraska for the top spot followed by Arkansas State and Vanderbilt. Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina A&T are next followed by defending national champion Stephen F. Austin in eighth.
Youngstown State and Duquesne round out the top 10.
Vanderbilt had some powerful moments this fall, such as its 1,109 pin count in a win over Sam Houston at the Hawk Classic, Maria Bulanova’s school record 243.8 average at the Ladyjack Hammer Classic and Angelique Dalesandro’s all-tournament showing at the Allstate Sugar Bowl. But it uncharacteristically suffered upset losses to several unranked teams in part because of its less than stellar performances in Baker play games – normally a program strength.
Vanderbilt resumes its schedule Jan. 10 in Las Vegas in the Mount Saint Mary’s Tournament.