Nov. 18, 2010
MILLSBORO, Del. --- Heading into the Maryland-Eastern Shore tournament last year - the Hawk Classic - Vanderbilt Coach John Williamson was cautious. Sure, the Commodores had won the tournament three years in a row but 2009 was a new year and a new team.
As we well know, 2009 turned out just golden as the Commodores won here for the fourth time in a row behind strong performances from All-Tournament selections Brittni Hamilton and the Earnest sisters, Josie and Jessica. Hamilton and Jessica Earnest return but Josie Earnest is now an assistant coach and several other key contributors have graduated.
So if Coach Williamson was cautious a year ago, you can echo those feelings as he takes a new-look team to the Millsboro Lanes for a three-day shootout against many of the East's best teams. In two outings this fall, the Commodores have not looked like the fourth-rated team in the country.
"We are a work in progress," Williamson says. "We show some glimpses of potential but we've lacked consistency in some key areas. We've spent time addressing these matters and we're eager to see if we've made progress."
The Commodores left campus Thursday with a travel team of Kayla Rhoades, Samantha Hesley, Jessica Earnest, Brittni Hamilton, Courtney Morgan and Lauren Rhein.
Tournament play opens Friday with five Baker games starting at noon. Saturday's play, five team games, starts at 9:00 a.m. and Sunday there are three rounds of best four-of-seven Baker match play starting at 8:30.
Coverage will be found on this web site.
Participating teams include Adelphi, Bowie State, Central Missouri, Delaware State, FDU, Howard, Kutztown, UMES, Monmouth, Morgan State, New Jersey City, Norfolk State, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Texas Southern, Valparaiso and Vanderbilt.