Bowlers finish fourth on wild Sunday
Nov. 10, 2013
VALPARAISO, IN---It appeared to be a normal, early season tournament Sunday but it produced three thrilling games that could carry a season's worth of helpful experience for Vanderbilt's bowling team.
All did not go perfectly for the second-rated Commodores, who won and lost matches on the last ball of the game. Amazingly, those might not have been the most exciting as a third game became the longest in school history, going into double-overtime, a rarity in e collegiate bowling.
When pulses returned to normal, Vanderbilt had finished fourth at the Valparaiso Crusader Classic, certainly lower than they were aiming, but showed plenty of promise that was notably absent just one week ago in their season opener.
"We made some big shots today but unfortunately we also missed some big opportunities which would have allowed us to win all three games," said Coach John Williamson. "We helped keep our opponents in the game so we have things we need to address. We had several very good efforts and I thought Robyn Renslow did very, very well in her first real opportunity to shine in the anchor position."
The day began against No. 3 rated Central Missouri, a powerful team with an imposing lineup, in the best-of-seven Baker format. The Jennies quickly won the first two games; Vandy bounced back to take the third but CMU prevailed in Game 4 for a commanding 3-1 lead. At that point, the Commodores showed an overdue competitive spunk and won games 5 and 6 to even things at 3-3.
The seventh game went down to the wire as Vanderbilt needed strikes from Natalie Goodman in the eighth, Giselle Poss in the ninth and Renslow to go off the sheet with three strikes in the tenth to rally from behind - and that is exactly what happened to win a wild, 214-211 game.
The semi-final game was another match with Arkansas State, who Vandy had bested Saturday in Team game play. The Red Wolves struggled early and the Commodores had their chances to win in four straight but it was not to be. A couple of opens allowed ASU to win Game 4 by a single pin to make it 2-2.
The teams traded win and had a 216-216 draw to go into a modified Baker where each bowler takes one frame. The first modified game ended in a 107-107 tie, aided by strikes from Tori Ferris, Goodman and Poss. The second overtime, the first in program history, didn't go well with ASU winning, 129-97, sending Vandy into the consolation game for a quick rematch with Central Missouri.
This game produced nearly the same tense situation as the first game; it came down to Renslow needing to mark and get good count for a 4-3 victory but the Vanderbilt All-American left the nearly impossible 7-10 split to lose by five pins.
Vanderbilt played the entire day with a rotation of Nicolle Mosesso, Ferris, Goodman, Poss and Renslow - two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
The Commodores continue a busy month by heading next weekend to the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawk Classic, an event they have won five of the past seven years.