MADISON, Wis. — Vanderbilt bested five outmanned opponents on the opening day of the Warhawk Classic Friday.
The No. 1 ranked Commodores opened up a 185-pin count lead on host Wisconsin-Whitewater, who also went unbeaten and sits in second place.
As expected, there were some impressive highs along with the usual opening day rust and nerves that ushered in a few errant first balls and missed-makeable spare attempts.
“It was a good first day, pretty solid for the most part,” head coach John Williamson said. “It was good to give everyone a chance and I thought everyone took advantage of their chances. This is what we intended our first day to be.”
Junior Paige Peters was the only Commodore to play in all five games—Vanderbilt played every team member at least twice during the day—and the two-time All-American responded with steady games of 208-203-217-235 and 214, a 215 average, mostly in the anchor spot.
“Paige was very consistent,” Williamson said. “We are not worried in the least about her health; we were trying to get her comfortable in the 5-hole although that doesn’t mean she will stay there.”
Vanderbilt changed its rotation in every game against Carroll, Marian, Kentucky Wesleyan, Aurora and Elmhurst and every Dore had her day, at least once. Kaylee Hitt’s efforts resulted in games of 237 and 225. In the afternoon finale against Elmhurst, Vandy employed a rotation in which no one had bowled in last April’s national championship match.
In the Aurora game, Haley Lindley’s 247 was complimented by Hitt’s 225 and Peter’s 235, leading to a 1,085-908 win.
Vandy’s two freshmen made their debuts. Natalie Kent had games of 182-204-203, and Williamson took note of her crucial double in the 10th frame of the day’s tightest match (a 996-962 win over Marian). Lindley showed some nerves with an opening 151 before coming back the next match with a day’s best 247.