For the eighth consecutive year, Vanderbilt's bowling team has been selected to compete in the NCAA Championship by the NCAA Bowling Committee, which announced all eight participants today.
The Commodores join Arkansas State, Central Missouri, Fairleigh Dickinson, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Nebraska, Sam Houston State and Wisconsin-Whitewater for the tournament, which will be held in Canton, Mich., April 10-13.
"We certainly look upon this selection as an accomplishment," says Vanderbilt Coach John Williamson. "Because we have had a nice run of success, it might be tempting for some fans to think this is easily attained but anyone closely following the regular season can attest that there are more quality teams than ever before and some very good teams were not chosen today. We appreciate the opportunity and will proudly represent Vanderbilt University and our athletics program."
The Commodores, 85-38, were a young team for the most part with just one senior in the starting lineup. Still, they managed to be in the championship bracket in eight of the nine tournaments they entered with a second place at the Kutztown Invitational as the high water mark. Five times Vanderbilt finished in third place against one of the strongest schedules in the NCAA.
Senior Jessica Earnest, a three-time All-American with 207 team game and 212 Baker averages, provided much of the experience and leadership to the lineup, which often employed a mix of three freshmen and two sophomores along with Kim Carper, another senior who served as a valuable first substitute.
The freshmen included Robyn Renslow, who was mostly used in the four slot but occasionally served as anchor with her 208.5 average; Amanda Fry (210), the southpaw who was the Most Valuable Player at the Sam Houston State Track Kat Klash; and Tori Ferris (197), a steady frame filler. The sophomores were Natalie Goodman (194.9)--like Renslow, a Junior Team USA member, and--Nicole Mosesso (187.1).