'Dores finish fourth at MCC

March 20, 2011

Music City Classic Results Get Acrobat Reader

SMYRNA – The Nebraska Cornhuskers came alive at just the right time and by doing so captured the title at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic. The Big Red rallied to beat No. 1 rated Fairleigh Dickinson, 4 games to 1 in the best of seven format. Central Missouri topped Vanderbilt in the consolation match to take third place.

Nebraska came from back in the pack to gain the crucial fourth seed late yesterday, giving it a shot at the first place glass pin. It gained momentum during its first two games, spotted FDU a game and then erupted with four strong games.

Danielle McEwan of FDU was voted the tournament’s outstanding bowler and was joined by teammate Joely Carrillo, Katie Ann Sopp of Nebraska, Natalie Jimenez of Central Missouri , Samantha Hesley of Vanderbilt and two Sacred Heart bowlers, Nicole Trudell and Savannah Zientara. Nebraska’s Danielle Van Der Meer had the tourney’s high game at 268.

The defending champion Commodores had a rough outing, dropping all three of their games on a day when it seemed what could go wrong did. There was one perfect exception.

Bowling against Central Missouri and down 2 games to none, it appeared the Commodores had enough and rattled off nine straight strikes, the chance for a lasting memory in the capable hands of its anchor, Samantha Hesley.

The junior, who had her share of tough sledding earlier in the day was deliberate in notching first one strike, then a second. With many eyes in the Smyrna Bowling Center on Lane 20, Hesley calmly nailed the final strike and gave Vanderbilt its second ever perfect game, with fans from all schools celebrating the rare achievement. (VU’s first 300 came at the 2007 NCAA Championship.) It was also the first perfect game in the seven year history of the tournament.

Unfortunately for Vanderbilt partisans, that was one of few bright spots.

The tone for Vanderbilt’s day seemed to be set in the first game. Commodores began the day pitted once again against the Knights as the tourney’s two top seeds. They won the first game of the best of four in a close and well played contest, 224-222. Things deteriorated quickly, perhaps due to tricky lane conditions and maybe the result of jitters.

Whatever the reason, Vanderbilt couldn’t break 150 in its next two games, leaving the lanes cluttered with open frames and allowing FDU to snag handy wins with scores of 169 and 192. Game four was not a lot different, FDU prevailing 170-167 despite seemingly trying to give Vandy a chance by leaving open frames as well.

That gave Fairleigh Dickinson a commanding 3-1 advantage and a better bowled fifth and final game (FDU 209-201)ended things for the first round, punching FDU’s ticket into the championship match.

The Commodores then moved on to meet Nebraska, who had prevailed over Central Missouri in the other championship bracket match. The scores picked up some but the breaks of the game didn’t.

The Cornhuskers won a hard-fought first game and Vanderbilt came back to take the second with a 224-pin effort. Lady luck deserted the `Dores at that point. Hesley, whose outstanding efforts pulled out two victories yesterday, suffered deciding splits in the tenth frame of both the third and fourth games, allowing Nebraska to escape with narrow winning margins. Game five was also close, going to the Big Red by six pins.

Vanderbilt then bowled in the third/fourth place match against Central Missouri, the nation’s third rated team. Except for the 300 magic, it seemed more of the same as the Commodores fell 4-1 to the Jenniess.

All teams now await the NCAA’s March 30 announcement on the eight programs that will advance to Detroit for the NCAA Championship in mid-April. Complete tournament results for each of the 20 teams can be found on the attachment to this article.