DEPTFORD, N.J. — Defending champion Vanderbilt interspersed some monster games within an otherwise framework of consistent bowling to go 5-0 and grab the lead at the Northeast Classic. Vandy has a 191-pin lead on second-place McKendree with Youngstown State and Stephen F. Austin, respectively, rounding out the top four.
Sticking with a rotation of Alyssa Ballard, Victoria Varano, Paige Peters, Caroline Thesier and Mabel Cummins, the potent Commodores rang up five games of 248 or higher in disposing Mercyhurst, No. 13 Delaware State, No. 12 Duquesne, Kutztown and Bryant.
“We were executing at a high level,” Vandy head coach John Williamson said. “We controlled our emotions and didn’t let pace or scores impact us. When we did have a mistake, the next one up cleaned it up.”
Vanderbilt forged at least one big game in each of the 5-set Baker matches, more than enough to keep its head above the 1,000-pin threshold and stay among the leaders in this hefty 34-team field. It also avoided the ragged games that can put a damper on big scoring.
Vandy had 10 strikes in a 266 effort against Delaware State, then enjoyed games of 248 and 256 against Duquesne and a season best 289 versus Kutztown when it began with a spare and then rattled off 10 bullseyes in succession.
With the high caliber of play, everyone in the rotation made frequent contributions. That said, Thesier and Cummins seemed especially dangerous at the end of the lineup.
“I thought today spoke more about us as a team than as individuals,” Williamson said. “I liked our consistency and how we functioned as a group.”
Play resumes at 8:30 a.m. CT Saturday at the Bowlero Deptford and will be streamed live on Vanderbilt Athletics YouTube site.