TRENTON, N.J. — Vanderbilt’s two-year reign as champion of Monmouth’s Hawk Flight Invite ended Sunday with a fourth-place finish. Duquesne won the tournament by beating Sam Houston State in the final match.
It was a disappointing day for the Commodores who lost a tight, 4-2 semifinal match to Sam Houston and then turned in a lackluster effort in the consolation match before losing 4-3 to Fairleigh Dickinson. Vandy had begun the day beating New Jersey City in the last round-robin traditional game 1,035-714 to earn the tournament’s No. 3 seed.
Vanderbilt used a lineup of Adel Wahner, Angelique Dalesandro, Samantha Gainor, Mabel Cummins and Maria Bulanova in the Sam Houston semifinal.
The two Southland Bowling League powers traded wins over the first four Baker games, winning on the right lane each time. The Kats finally broke through in Game 5 when they ended with four strikes in a row for a 224-215 win.
The deciding sixth game came down to a dual with the anchors, but Bulanova’s strike-spare was topped by Sam Houston senior Katelyn Dickerson’s double, resulting in a 207-199 SHSU win.
With the championship out of reach, Vanderbilt switched the lineup in the consolation match. Freshman Amelia Keifer went into the lead-off position with Wahner slipping into second, Dalesandro third, Cummins fourth and Bulanova anchoring.
The match was a bumpy ride for the Commodores, who won the first game but had four opens in Game 2 and never really got their bearings on these Hamilton Lanes. The Dores suffered four missed-makeables in eight frames of Game 5, for example.
They scrapped away and managed to tie the match 3-3 with Emily Rigney and Samantha Gainor back in the rotation.
The seventh game began with FDU getting the front three but Vandy stayed in the thick of things until late. The final score 199-184 dropped the Commodores into fourth place in the field of 12 and equaled the program’s lowest finish of the season.
Next weekend Vanderbilt will host the largest tournament of the season with its own Music City Classic. It will be held at the Smyrna Bowling Center with free admission starting at 9 a.m. Friday