Dores in Dezy Strong Championship Bracket

Vandy keeps hopes alive to defend tournament title

CORUM, N.Y. — Vanderbilt relied on a veteran senior and a green freshman Saturday to push it into Sunday’s championship bracket of the Dezy Strong Invitational.

Mabel Cummins and Alyssa Ballard helped power the Commodores into fourth place on the team leaderboard and by making the top four, they have a chance to defend the tournament championship captured at the event a year ago.

Louisiana Tech, Youngstown State and Stephen F. Austin—all Southland Bowling League members—comprise the others in the title bracket.  Vanderbilt will take on unbeaten SFA in a best of seven Baker match at 7:45 a.m. CT.

The All-American Cummins averaged 204.6 and Ballard, bowling in her first collegiate tournament, was two pins behind as the Vandy duo placed eighth and ninth in the individual standings, respectively. SFA’s Chloe Skurzynski won individual honors with a 227.0 average.

It was another uneven ride for Vanderbilt, which began the day with losses to SFA and host Adelphi before posting its best score in two days against Molloy (1,064). The Dores continued with a win over Mount St. Mary’s, aided by Caroline Thesier’s 232 and Ballard’s 226, before closing the day with a narrow loss to Long Island University.

“We’re not striking enough and sometimes when that happens 9-pin leaves become 7-pin leaves,” head coach John Williamson said. “You tend to press and that’s not good. We still have some folks trying to get matched up on the lanes, which are different from pair to pair and even lane to lane.”

Williamson said Cummins and Ballard were “consistent all day” and he also noted freshman Victoria Varano missed just one makeable spare all day.

Sunday’s action will be livestreamed on the Vanderbilt Athletic YouTube site.