Five Commodore Alumni Honored

Four-time first and second-team All-Americans were honored by the U.S. Bowling Congress

by Rod Williamson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Five former Vanderbilt bowling stars were honored by the U.S. Bowling Congress Wednesday night during the organization’s annual “Night of Champions.”

The dinner, held during the week of the Intercollegiate Singles Championship (of which Vanderbilt’s Natalie Kent is a semifinalist) and Intercollegiate Team Championships, spotlighted a number of the USBC’s initiatives including a salute to collegiate bowling’s all-time four-time All-America first and second team members.

That elite group included Vanderbilt alumni Josie (Barnes) Earnest and her sister, Jessica Earnest, Brittni (LaGeorge) Hamilton, Maria Bulanova and Robyn (Anctil) Renslow. The five Commodore alums represented one-sixth of the men and women honorees, and each has a long and glowing resume.

Barnes anchored Vanderbilt as a freshman to its first-ever NCAA team championship in 2007. She became a two-time national player of the year, represented the United States in multiple international competitions, was inducted into the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame and currently serves as the associate head coach of Vanderbilt’s varsity team.

Bulanova, a native of Moscow, Russia, anchored the 2018 Commodores to a national championship and 2019 national runner-up finish. She was the NCAA Player of the Year in 2018 and was the rookie of the year in 2017.

Jessica Earnest starred from 2010-13, anchoring the team to an NCAA runner-up finish in 2013. She won a gold medal at the World Games and was a dominant bowler in the USA junior circles for many years. She was the NCAA Rookie of the Year in 2010.

Hamilton is one of the program’s most decorated bowlers. She remains the only Commodore to win the ISC and was the first bowler to earn Vanderbilt’s ‘Female Athlete of the Year’ award. She was a silver medalist at the World Junior Games, won the 2010 Junior Gold and was a member of the NCAA all-tournament team. Hamilton was the national rookie of the year in 2009.

Renslow, who was unable to attend the USBC dinner in person, came to Vanderbilt from California and was an immediate mainstay. Now a registered nurse in her home state, Renslow was national rookie of the year in 2013, a two-time first-team All-American and reached the semifinals of the ISC. She anchored a pair of Baker 300 games for the Commodores.