Vanderbilt put on a dazzling display to win the Mid-Winter Classic Sunday afternoon, the crowning achievement in what was a dominating weekend of bowling.
The Commodores blitzed host Arkansas State, 4-0, with scores that averaged 239.37 in the championship game. Two of those games ended with Black and Gold runs of seven straight strikes as pin counts were posted of 244, 257, 213 and 245.
That effort capped a three-day run of 12 wins against a lone loss and resulted in Vanderbilt’s second consecutive tournament championship. Vandy had won the Hawk Classic to end its fall schedule.
Vanderbilt had earned the No. 1 tournament seed based on high pin count and corresponding 10-0 record. After opening Sunday with a 4-1 loss to the same Arkansas State team, it rebounded with a 4-1 victory over Stephen F. Austin and then the rout of ASU in the quick rematch.
“We didn’t have a missed-makeable spare in the last match and only two opens,” Associate Head Coach Josie Barnes said afterwards. “And to my thinking, one of the impressive things about our win was that we didn’t have an individual on the all-tournament team and yet we had the top seed. That speaks to balance and selflessness.”
The rotation in the title match was Jordan Newham, Angelique Dalesandro, Adel Wahner, Maria Bulanova and Kristin Quah.
Barnes called Wahner “the steady Eddie” and praised the Junior Team USA member’s contributions.
“I think when you analyze her statistics you’d be very impressed,” Barnes said, reflecting on her Sunday production and Saturday 202 individual game average.
Quah, the do-everything senior, was competing with a heavy heart. She had learned early in the morning that her paternal grandmother had passed away in Singapore. In spite of the heartache, Quah was effective when switched from fourth to anchor in the rotation.
Barnes was pleased that Dalesandro, the freshman from Illinois, was able to gain so much experience at the tournament. She had “the best look” on the team and “handled her business well.”
The win in Jonesboro was the program’s 31st in history and the first at the Mid-Winter since 2012.
The 12 wins – including six Top 10 victories – improved Vanderbilt’s season mark to 37-13. The season continues next weekend at the Kutztown Invitational in Limerick, Pa.