Feb. 28, 2014
KANSAS CITY, MO---Vanderbilt sits in third place at the halfway point of the Greater Ozark Invitational after winning three of five games Friday.
The Commodores won a key match against Sam Houston State and also topped Louisiana Tech and Valparaiso while losing to the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams, Arkansas State and Nebraska. Team games will begin Saturday at 8:00 a.m.
Saturday's games and next week's home tournament are important to NCAA seeding possibilities as there are a handful of "bubble" teams hoping to become one of eight teams advancing to the national championship in April. Vanderbilt and Sam Houston would be considered by some as among the bubble teams, thus the importance of the win.
"As a team, we need to realize that our competition needs to be with ourselves," says junior Natalie Goodman. "We need to focus on what we can control. I think the best way we can do that is to reflect upon what each individual can do to pick up the team."
The team has focused on having a "positive settee", where teammates reinforce each other between shots. One such example came midway in the Sam Houston match when Nicole Chanin, who was not in the lineup, called everyone into a quick huddle when the game was on the line to remind them to take it one shot at a time.
"Chanin is so in tune with what our team needs to hear and to get us back on the right track," says fellow junior Rebeca Reguero. "She is in it for the team 100%."
Reguero concurs with Goodman that the right mix of ingredients are available to the Commodores.
"The important thing for us is to build on positives," she says. "There are many talented bowlers on this team"
The Kansas City area is in line for an approaching blizzard and out of concern for player safety and to avoid teams becoming stranded should the heavy snowstorm materalize, the planned three-day tournament has been reduced to two with the Sunday bracket play cancelled.
Vanderbilt's matches will be live streamed at www.ustream.com and find Vanderbilt (VU) bowling.
Nebraska leads the pin fall count (5,229) with Stephen F. Austin second (5,146), followed by Vandy (4,936) and Arkansas State (4,849).
VU 1,018 La Tech 967
Lineup: Mosesso, Poss, Requero, Renslow, Goodman. The day got off to a solid start. Commodores bowled clean their first two games and opened a commanding lead. The third and four games were close, in part due to some inconsistent spare shooting. The Techsters had a nice run of six in a row in the fifth game to close the final gap.
VU 1,003 Sam Houston State 949
Lineup: Mosesso, Poss, Reguero, Renslow, Goodman. Vandy staged an excellent come-from-behind rally in the fifth and deciding game to win going away. The 'Dores closed with five strikes in a row from Requero, Renslow and Goodman to break open the see-saw contest.
Nebraska 1,091 VU 965
Lineup: Mosesso, Poss, Requero, Renslow and Goodman. Nebraska opened the first game with a pair of spares, then rattled off eight strikes in a row. Vandy could never close the big gap, although its 239 in the fourth Baker was one of its best games of the day.
VU 1,050 Valparaiso 880
Lineup: Mosesso, Poss, Reguero, Renslow, Goodman. Vandy had its best pin count of the afternoon, finishing strong.
Arkansas State 974 VU 900
Lineup: Mosesso, Poss, Reguero, Renslow, Goodman. Neither team had its "A" game going but the Commodores struggled in the second and fourth games and as a result, fell too far back. The 'Dores went the entire fourth game without a strike.