Unbeaten Day 2 Seeds Dores Fourth

Vandy will face North Carolina A&T in the first championship bracket match

by Rod Williamson

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Consistency was the Vanderbilt watchword Saturday as the Commodores methodically worked their way to five victories and the No. 4 seed at the Stallings Invitational.

Vandy ran its tournament record to 9-1 with comfortable wins over Tulane, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Coppin State, Nebraska and Duquesne and is now pitted against No. 3 North Carolina A&T in Sunday’s opening bracket match.

Jacksonville State and Arkansas State round out the championship bracket in this 18-team event.

The Commodore scoring was balanced all day; with few exceptions nobody scorched the Triad lanes but there was also no obvious weak link on the scoreboard. Kailee Channell, Haley Lindley, Paige Peters and Victoria Varano played every frame while Alyssa Ballard handled leadoff duties for three games before giving way to Caroline Thesier for the last two.

There were a couple of exceptional efforts, as mentioned. Peters ran off the front six while heading to a 248 against Maryland-Eastern Shore, and Channell blasted out eight in a row for a 256 in the Coppin State match. Otherwise Vandy scores were nearly cookie-cutter uniform from about 190 to 215 all day.

“Our execution was good for the most part,” head coach John Williamson said. “The lanes got tricky at the end, and it took a few frames to convince our girls what adjustment was needed but then we played the last five frames well.”

The opening Tulane match set the tempo for the day. It was an isometric tussle that was not decided until somewhere in the 10th frame as all 10 bowlers were trading strikes and spares en route to very similar scores. Tulane’s anchor kept the Green Wave close with a 252 but Vandy’s overall balance was the decider in a 1,078-1,051 match.  Nine of the 10 bowlers were over 200; open frames were rare.

The match with sixth-ranked Nebraska always draws interest but this one lacked the normal drama. The Huskers were not at the top of their game (shooting 858) and Vanderbilt was workmanlike but not spectacular in winning by 100 pins.  Channell led the way with a 214.

Bowling gets underway again Sunday at 7:25 a.m. CT and is found on the Vanderbilt Athletics YouTube site.