Newham leads VU into third

Nov. 10, 2017

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KENOSHA, WI—Vanderbilt turned in a solid, blue-collar effort on the Sheridan Lanes and was in third place after the first day of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Warhawk Classic. The Commodores won four of five games - narrowly missing out on a sweep - and showed a consistency that has been heretofore elusive.

Vandy beat Top 10 opponents Fairleigh Dickinson, Central Missouri and also Long Island-Brooklyn and Maryville before losing the nightcap to Nebraska, 1,013-1,002. Arkansas State leads the tourney with 5,211 pins followed by Nebraska (5,203), Vandy (5,161) and McKendree (5,038) in the 18-team event.

“I thought we were pretty consistent, made our spares and threw good shots for the most part,” said Coach John Williamson. “The pattern was a little softer which allowed for freer swings and more room for errors but the pin carry seemed erratic. There were a lot of nine pin counts and you close more frames shooting at one pin than four.”

Vanderbilt’s lineup varied slightly throughout the day. It began with Emily Rigney, Sam Gainor, Jordan Newham, Kris Quah and Maria Bulanova and then gradually evolved to Newham in the four-hole, Quah in the second spot and Adel Wahner for Gainor.

Williamson had high praise for Newham.

“I thought she was phenomenal, especially in the four hole” Williamson said. “I think she had one missed makeable all day and she set up our 10th frame with a high percentage of strikes, which we haven’t been getting.”

Williamson also was pleased with Rigney, who was wearing glasses for the first time after mentioning vision issues last week. “I can’t say it was her eyesight but she was certainly throwing the ball better today,” he said.

The Commodores demonstrated competitive spunk from the outset Friday. FDU began the first of five Baker games with five straight strikes but Vandy closed with strikes of its own from the seventh frame to close the potential gap to just 10 pins. A big second game put the Dores up, a strong FDU third had VU down by seven pins but solid fourth and fifth games secured the win.

Vandy jumped out on Central Missouri in the second match with the front five and an 89 in margin and pretty much maintained that edge throughout the remaining games to win, 1,066-995. Long Island provided a challenge that wasn’t put down until the fourth game and the ‘Dores pretty much coasted in the fourth match of the day against Maryville.

Top-ranked Nebraska was a quality contest with the ultimate difference coming in the second Baker game in which back-to-back splits in the sixth and seventh and a third in the 10th saw Vanderbilt get in a 49 pin hole. The remaining games were close but the damage was done.

Saturday’s five team games begin at 9:35 (CST) and will be streamed on YouTube. On tap early is Arkansas State and McKendree.



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