ARLINGTON, Texas - The Vanderbilt bowling team's Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde persona stayed in character Friday afternoon in the beautiful USBC International Training and Research Center.
Competing for the first time in program history without the benefit of practice due to a brief flu epidemic, the Commodores had a roller-coaster afternoon with the luster of some excellent bowling smudged by some shaky moments and as a result, the Commodores were in fifth place at the Prairie View Invitational.
"Given our week it was better than it could have been," Coach John Williamsonsaid. "When we are good, we are very good but we continue to have these lapses in focus that prove very costly. That is something that just has to change if we are to achieve what we hope to achieve. But all-in-all, we had some good moments today and I'm confident tomorrow we'll come back and do even better."
Vanderbilt began its day with wins over Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern with pin count enough to lead after two rounds. The Black and Gold led the third game after three of the four Baker sets with Nebraska, only to see the Huskers go off with a 269 to seize the game.
The Commodores bounced back with a nice win over Central Missouri in a game that at the time featured the two teams leading the tournament. A 256 effort in the first Baker, set up by striking in the first seven frames, got things off to a rousing start.
Vandy ran into a bowling buzz saw in the day's finale as Arkansas State lit up the lanes with a spectacular 968 total - plus 168! While there is no chance to play defense in bowling, Williamson said he would have liked his team to been able to apply some competitive pressure to the red-hot Wolves.
Saturday's action of five traditional games begins at 9:40 a.m. The 12 teams will be working on pin count, which combined with today's total will determine Sunday's bracket.
Leader Board Arkansas State 4317 Central Missouri 4187 Valparaiso 4110 Stephen F. Austin 4100 Vanderbilt 4018
VU 833 Stephen F. Austin 792 VU 226-156 SFA 215-185 SFA 204-184 VU 242-217
VU 866 Texas Southern 775 TS 229-183 VU 256-171 TS 200-182 VU 245-175
Nebraska 805 VU 761 VU 192-143 NU 191-189 NU 202-181 NU 269-197
VU 820 Central Missouri 779 VU 256-202 CM 203-168 VU 200-189 VU 196-185
Arkansas State 968 VU 733 AS 223-202 AS 223-179 AS 244-161 AS 278-191