HARAHAN, La. — Vanderbilt launched its bowling season Friday by cruising past 4 of 5 opponents at Tulane’s Colonial Lanes Classic.
The Commodores are in sixth place in the 15-team field with two days of competition remaining. Sam Houston leads by a wide pin fall margin with the next five teams closely bunched.
“It was a pretty typical opening day,” Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson said. “We started OK and then struggled in the second and third rounds. Our energy was flat in the second and we were not making good shots. However, I thought we regrouped and the last nine games were pretty solid.
“When you substitute as much as we did it’s hard to get into a rhythm.”
There was little suspense in the four wins against Jackson State, Prairie View, Alabama State and Texas Southern as Williamson played his entire 11-woman roster as planned. The match most fans had circled on the day’s card was the third one against sixth-ranked North Carolina A&T and that one also lacked drama as well, but for a different reason.
The talented Aggies came out in the 5-Game Baker set red hot, jumping out to a huge lead after two games over the lukewarm Commodores. Vandy’s rotation began as Angelica Anthony, Jennifer Loredo, Caroline Thesier, Amanda Naujokas and Mabel Cummins, later to be amended by Anthony and Cummins swapping spots and finally with freshman Paige Peters entering in the fourth game.
When the matchup finally ended in a 1,012-904 A&T victory it was a case of too few Commodore strikes and when those did happen, they were seldom bunched together. Anthony threw seven strikes in her 10 frames to pace the Dores in the match.
The highlight game of the Commodores’ day came midway in the match against Alabama State. Using a lineup of Thesier, Amelia Kiefer, Peters, Loredo and Anthony, the Dores opened with a spare and followed it up with 11 strikes for a slick 289 total.
The Vandy coaches had hoped to play everyone and they did. The trio of Commodore freshman – Peters, Kailee Channell and Kaylee Hitt – all got their collegiate feet wet during the day. And as expected, lineups were constantly shuffled with perhaps the most interesting shift being leaving Anthony in the anchor position for the last half of the day.
“Angelica had a really good look all day, especially when she stayed aggressive,” Williamson said. “Mabel got off to a good start, then seemed to get a little uncomfortable so we were looking for some help. I don’t like to think that we have solidified positions. We want to be able to move people around to take advantage of their talent and the situations. (Saturday) might be different.”
Williamson noted that the lanes didn’t transition as expected and said that knowledge would likely result in some modified thoughts on ball choice and so forth.
Saturday transitions to traditional team games beginning at 8:55 a.m.