Feb. 5, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt’s bowling team will take one of its two scheduled breaks from normal NCAA competition this weekend when it travels to St. Louis for the McKendree Baker Challenge.
There will be 22 university club teams and Vanderbilt in this Baker-only tournament that begins Saturday at 9:00 (CT) with a series of six, 4-game Baker matches. It concludes Sunday beginning with four, 4-game Bakers before a single-elimination, best of three Baker series for the top eight teams.
“It will be fun and interesting to compete against a completely new set of teams,” Coach John Williamson says. “There are some excellent university programs operating at the club level so this will be valuable experience.”
The Commodores are coming off one of the strangest weeks in memory. While they were in Pennsylvania last weekend, the roof of their home lanes in Smyrna collapsed during a rare blizzard that raced across the Mid-South. That set the squad on a nomadic week of practice with one evening in Columbia, another in Antioch and a third en route Friday to St. Louis.
“We feel badly for our good friends at the Smyrna Bowling Center,” Williamson says, “but they have made tremendous progress with temporary solutions and we could be back there in a matter of weeks if all goes well. We hope so but we have also realized that moving practice locations, while inconvenient, has its advantages.”
Competing teams include: Baker, Ball State, Bellarmine, Calumet, Campbellsville, Illinois State, Indiana, Lindenwood, Martin Methodist, McKendree, Newman, Purdue, Robert Morris-Chicago, Rock Valley, Spalding, Illinois, Notre Dame, Urbana, Weber, West Texas A & M, Western Illinois and Wright State.
Vanderbilt will also bowl in the Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis Feb. 20-22, another non-NCAA tournament that is billed as one of the biggest tournaments in the nation.
The McKendree tournament will be held at the Olivette Lanes.