HELSINGBORG, SWEDEN — Both USA women’s doubles teams made the cut and advanced to the next round at the IBF U21 World Games Friday.
The duo of Mabel Cummins and Paige Peters, a pair of Vanderbilt All-Americans, finished the 10 doubles games in ninth place while Vanderbilt-bound Victoria Varano and Ohioan Jillian Martin were close behind in 11th.
Cummins-Peters averaged 201 and Varano-Martin were six pins back with a 200.4 average. A Singapore combo averaged 213.7 to lead the field of 48 teams from across the globe. The Cummins-Peters team had best games of 258 and 241 while Varano-Martin’s team notched bests of 246 and 233.
“It’s been very challenging, quite a grind,” Cummins said in review of their day. “We didn’t have great carry so we left a lot of stone pins, corner pins and so forth which was frustrating.”
Cummins and Peters felt an advantage bowling in the third and final squad of the day, whereas Varano and Martin were in the first grouping. Bowling last, they were able to watch and learn from the other competitors.
The duo agreed that being Vanderbilt teammates has worked as an advantage.
“We know each other’s mannerisms and how to best support each other,” Peters said. “We have a level of trust that is helpful. Our coaches really don’t know us very well yet and so they will ask us questions such as, ‘if this was happening in a college match how would you handle it?’ And some other countries have their teams together year-round so it’s not as though we have a big advantage.”
While Peters says that the international play – her first ever – has been about what she imagined it would be, the veteran Cummins, who has bowled in Paris and Puerto Rico, admitted that representing the United States is, “stressful.”
“This is a whole different kind of game here,” Cummins said. “The lanes are the same length but the caliber of competition is so high. It’s the best of the best in the world and it’s unmatched.”
Peters has enjoyed the international experience, particularly the small gift exchanges between individuals when away from the lanes. Each bowler has a goodie bag of stickers, pins, key chains and the like and she said it’s been, “super fun,” trading items.
Doubles match play resumes Sunday.