Bowlers third in key tournament
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).