CORAM, N.Y. — Vanderbilt seized the team lead after the first match at Adelphi’s Dezy Strong Classic and held it throughout the day Friday.
The Commodores lead second-place Fairleigh Dickinson by 132 pins heading into Saturday’s play.
Vanderbilt won 3 of 5 matches along the way defeating St. Francis College 1,048-881 for its best pin count of the day. It also downed Bloomfield and host Adelphi while losing to Mount St. Mary’s and Fairleigh Dickinson. There are 16 teams in the field.
“We’ve got to figure out how to be competitive all the time,” Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson said. “Today we turned it on and off. I think some of the issue is that we are basically a young team. Angelica (Anthony) is a senior but she’s just been with us for 15 months. And Mabel Cummins is a junior but might not have turned 19 yet.
“The pattern is also not easy and there is not a lot of carry in this facility.”
It was a grind-it-out kind of day for the most part with very few long strike strings and some pesky splits that too often got in the way of any possible momentum.
“I thought Paige might have been our best bowler today,” Williamson said. “She kept the ball in play and had just three opens. All her shots were aligned. We’re still working on some fundamental things but she did what she was supposed to do.”
Thesier entered midway through Vanderbilt’s second game and she worked her way down the rotation from third to fourth into the anchor.
Vanderbilt is competing in this tournament for the first time, largely on account of the Coran Country Lanes being the home base for sophomore Amanda Naujokas. But Halloween played a disappointing trick as Naujokas sustained an undetermined muscle strain late in the day making her status doubtful the rest of the weekend and taking some of the luster off her homecoming.
“It’s hard to know exactly what happened,” Williamson said. “The approaches are a little sticky. A Stephen F. Austin bowler even had a possible ACL injury this afternoon.”
Vandy’s only top-10 matchup Friday was against FDU, ranked eighth in the pre-season poll. The fourth-rated Dores had a 30-pin cushion after three games of the 5-game Baker set, only so see that lead evaporate in the last two games.
There was a one-point Vandy edge going into the final game and the Dores were hanging on until a costly split/open in the sixth turned the momentum. The final score was FDU 996-970.
Saturday’s five team games begin at 8:30 a.m. CT.