INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An impressive weeklong showing by three Vanderbilt bowlers dissolved quickly Friday night as two of the three Commodores were ousted in Junior Gold match play competition.
Victoria Varano, who had climbed all the way to second after the advancer’s rounds, Haley Lindley, who went into match play seeded ninth, and Natalie Kent, whose steady play had earned her the 16th seed, all lost their first-round matches and were thrown into the elimination bracket.
Varano and Kent then dropped their elimination round matches, ending their quest for the coveted Junior Gold title. Lindley was pitted against Kent in the elimination first round and prevailed over her future Commodore teammate.
Varano had an exceptional run through the advancer’s brackets, posting the second-highest output of the day, but she could not keep her momentum going, losing to 15th seeded Amanda Granata in the opening round (386-333) and dropping a game to Abigail Starkey (431-358).
Lindley had been one of the hottest bowlers in the original 588-girl field but stumbled against Brooke Salzman, 422-375, in the opener. That pitted her against Kent, where she advanced to the second round of Saturday’s elimination bracket with a 370-318 decision.
Kent lost a heartbreaker in the opener; she had a big lead after the first of two games against top-seeded Gianna Brandolino but struggled in the deciding second game and lost by a single pin, 407-406.
Lindley will face Salzman Saturday at 7:30 a.m. in elimination play. The tournament concludes Saturday, highlighted by the announcement of the new members of Junior Team USA.