Oct. 27, 2007
JONESBORO, Ark.–Vanderbilt’s bowling team opened its season with four wins and one loss in the Central Region Jamboree Saturday.
The top-rated Commodores opened with three straight wins over Alabama A&M, Grambling, and Arkansas Pine-Bluff before being upset by Central Missouri. They bounced back in a thrilling match against host Arkansas State to win the day’s finale.
Vanderbilt experimented with a variety of lineups throughout the day as Coach John Williamson evaluated with interest. Three freshmen saw extensive action in their first day of collegiate competition.
“It was probably a typical first day of play,” Williamson said. “I thought we were tight and at one point during the day. I told the team we looked as though we were trying to be perfect, as though we were trying to protect something. You can’t compete that way. We just needed to be ourselves.”
“It was very gratifying,” Williamson continued, “that we bounced back from a sub-par game against Central Missouri to beat an Arkansas State team that was definitely on a roll. They bowled about 100 pins better against us than their day’s average and Karen Grygiel’s 267 was our saving grace. She bowled with a veteran’s poise and a leader’s instinct when we needed her.”
In that game, Vanderbilt held off the hosts, 1,008-992, behind Grygiel’s big effort and a strong 207 from anchor Josie Earnest. Two ASU bowlers had six straight strikes midway though the match to make the match most interesting.
“We saw first hand what wearing the top ranking does for our opponents,” Williamson said. “We got their best efforts, and we didn’t handle it well against Central, but I was very pleased with our poise against Arkansas State. You can’t practice that at home.”
Williamson also noted that scores were down across the board for the day.
“The bowling center had a new playing surface that was playing tight. In our case, as well, we had some first-day nerves that we will get over and we will compete much better tomorrow.”
The competition continues Sunday with five Baker games.
Today’s Results (Vanderbilt Bowlers):
Vanderbilt 915 Alabama A & M 864
Michelle Peloquin 191
Brittany Garcia 165
Karen Grygiel 165
Ellen Morrison 185
Josie Earnest 209
Vanderbilt 919 Grambling 720
Ashley Belden 225
Amanda Halter 179
Josie Earnest 176
Vanderbilt 853 Pine Bluff 560
Central Missouri 884 Vanderbilt 831
Vanderbilt 1,008 Arkansas State 992
*Halter substituted midway in match