ORLANDO, Fla. — Vanderbilt won three of its five matches on the opening day of the Destination Orlando tournament, but its two setbacks came in high-profile matchups.
Vanderbilt ended the day in fifth place, trailing Jacksonville State, Stephen F. Austin, Youngstown State and Arkansas State. There are 18 teams competing.
The Commodores dropped their anticipated opener against Arkansas State in a rematch of programs involved in the NCAA championship match last April. After topping 23rd-ranked Tulane, top-ranked Vandy lost to a hot-striking Stephen F. Austin team, that was fourth in the preseason poll. Wins over Daemen and Monmouth concluded the day.
The Commodores jumped out quickly on Arkansas State, leading by 57 pins after two of the five Baker games, but a 237-187 deficit in the fourth game proved too much to overcome. The final score was 1,030-1,003.
Somewhat similarly, Vandy led Stephen F. Austin by four pins after three games but the Ladyjacks rattled off seven opening strikes in game four to win, 255-183, and essentially iced the match at that point.
Vanderbilt used multiple lineups as it did last week in Wisconsin, starting with Haley Lindley, Alyssa Ballard, Amanda Naujokas, Victoria Varano and Paige Peters. Kaylee Hitt went in for Lindley in the Tulane match while Caroline Thesier and Jen Loredo got in late during the Stephen F. Austin match.
There was a major lineup shuffle for the Daemen and Monmouth matches, opting to go with Thesier, Natalie Kent, Kailee Channell, Varano and Peters. The Dores could muster just 928 pins in the Daemen win but rebounded with 1,017—helped by an opening 245—in topping Monmouth.
“It was a frustrating day for us,” associate head coach Josie Barnes said. “We probably weren’t lined up correctly to start the first match and in trying to make up lost ground, never could get anything going. About the time we should have had it going into the Daemen match, there was a mechanical breakdown; we got moved to lanes that hadn’t been used all day and that resulted in our lowest score of the day. It’s early in the season and we’re still trying to work things out.”
Vanderbilt starts Saturday against Jacksonville State at 7:25 a.m. CT. Play is livestreamed on the Vanderbilt Athletics YouTube site.