Undefeated Day in Dallas

Commodores start Lady Techsters Classic 4-0

by Rod Williamson

DALLAS – Vanderbilt persevered through hard lane patterns and overall soft scoring to go undefeated in four matches during the first day of the Lady Techsters Classic.

Vanderbilt ended the day in third place, three pins behind second place Arkansas State and 210 behind front-runner Louisiana Tech.

The fourth-ranked Commodores plodded by Long Island and Tulane, respectively with nearly identical sub-940 scores before coming to life with the tournament’s first 1,000-plus game against Stephen F. Austin.

That 1,014 score was enough to push within four pins of tournament leader Louisiana Tech. All that remained to finish Vandy’s day was a match against winless Grambling and a bye match to end the afternoon.

It appeared that the Dores got the order of rounds confused, knocking down just 827 pins including a feeble closing 118 against Grambling, sending them tumbling into third on the leaderboard which is based on total pin fall.

Vandy took the bye opportunity seriously and rebounded with a solid 1,009 which head coach John Williamson credited to better execution.

The 38-foot oil pattern on the USA Lanes befuddled nearly the entire field where errant first shots led to tricky second chances and many more opens than normal.

“This was the most difficult pattern we’ve seen all year,” Williamson said. “Caroline (Thesier) was a plus for the day and our most consistent, but for the most part it was like a baseball pitcher trying to be perfect … we’d miss a spare and tighten up. We thought this was our best lineup with this pattern and everyone had some good moments during the course of the day.”

Vanderbilt began the day with its customary rotation of Mabel Cummins, Angelica Anthony, Thesier, Samantha Gainor and Paige Peters, but it was apparent from the get-go that this was going to be a grind-it-out kind of day where patience was a virtue.

Amanda Naujokas was inserted into the lineup in Game 2 and midway through that one Cummins and Anthony swapped places as the coaching staff looked to find a spark. Looking around the center, it was also clear that there was going to be far more games in the low 900s than those sniffing 1,000 as no team had the answers.

Play resumes at 10:25 a.m. Saturday with five traditional games live streamed exclusively on Bowl.com.