Top 10 Matchups Challenge Dores

Vanderbilt is in fifth after Saturday’s five games

by Rod Williamson

ARLINGTON, Texas — The top 10 gauntlet facing Vanderbilt Saturday turned out to be just that as the Commodores won just one of their five matches at the Prairie View Invitational. They are in fifth place, 91 pins out of fourth, with a qualifying match remaining Sunday against host Prairie View before final seeds are established.

“I thought we competed better today than we did Friday, but we don’t have a lot to show for it,” head coach John Williamson said. “We had opportunities to gain momentum in some matches but didn’t make key shots at the right time.”

In a talented field such as this, big scores are the rule and not the exception, and Vanderbilt was on the short end of blockbuster efforts several times during the day.

For example, North Carolina A&T’s Chloe Newberry’s 255 was the difference in a 1,015-987 setback in which Caroline Thesier’s 214 was the best Vandy could produce.

Then, Nebraska got 270 and 269 games from Brenna Hartzler and Jillian Martin as the Huskers had the tournament’s biggest game (1,200) against Vandy. The day ended with Arkansas State getting scores of 264-236-243 from its 2-3-4 bowlers to offset Hayley Lindley’s splendid 250, that featured seven strikes to end her line.

The bright moment for the Commodores came midday against No. 10 ranked Maryville. Vandy used a revamped rotation of Lindley, Alyssa Ballard, Kailee Channell, Victoria Varano and Paige Peters to generate a 1,145-963 win. Channell led the way with a glossy 267 with Peters adding 233, Ballard 231 and Varano 221.

Although Peters led Vandy with a 213 average on the day, her string of all-tournament appearances came to an end with an eighth place individual finish. Nebraska’s Kayla Verstraete led all bowlers with a 238.60 average over the five games.

The day ended with Jacksonville State leading Youngstown State, Arkansas State and Nebraska on the top end of the leaderboard.

Play concludes Sunday with one team game to complete the round-robin, followed by two best-of-seven Baker Games to establish final standings. BowlTV streams the action live beginning at 8:25 a.m.