WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Vanderbilt concluded its fall season Sunday by defeating Louisiana Tech in the consolation match of the Hawk Classic to tack down third place in the 22-team tournament.
The Commodores, who went 8-5 in this event to end the fall with a 39-13 won-loss mark, were on the short end of high-scoring matches to start their day. North Carolina A&T topped Vandy in a traditional game, 1,125-1,075 and Youngstown State outdueled the Dores in the semifinal best of seven, 4-3.
Jacksonville State defeated Youngstown State to win the championship, 4-2.
Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson liked the grit his team showed during the weekend but was shaking his head at the team’s inconsistent spare shooting.
“If we convert a single-pin spare in Game Four of the Youngstown State match we win in six games and it doesn’t even get to Game Seven,” he said, referring to a 212-205 loss that would have put his team up 3-1. “We can’t give good teams additional opportunities; we compete so hard, but we are making simple mistakes, and we have to learn from it.”
Scores from top to near the bottom were out of sight. For example, 56 individuals averaged over 200 for the six traditional games.
The Youngstown State semi was a fun one to watch but it was definitely a home run derby. Spares were liabilities—if you weren’t striking you were falling behind.
The talented Penguins’ final three games were 299, 268 and 277—an astounding 281 average—as they enjoyed 30 strikes between them. Amazingly, Vanderbilt actually won one of those games when after stringing eight in a row, Paige Peters spared and struck for a 269. Not many college games end 269-268.
Vanderbilt averaged an impressive 224 over its seven games against Youngstown State but it wasn’t enough. Youngstown State also tallied 259 and 212 pins in its other wins and averaged an eye-popping 245 for the match.
In the consolation contest, the Bulldogs took the first game, 226-179, but Vanderbilt swept the next four with steadily climbing scores of 199, 222, 247 and 268, knocking down the last 10 in the finale.
“We did a better job filling frames against Louisiana Tech,” Williamson noted.
The traditional game with North Carolina A&T was also interesting. Peters had the front seven while heading to a 262, Amanda Naujokas had a six-bagger for a 234 and Alyssa Ballard added a 212. The Aggies were red hot with four bowlers over 223 for one of their best totals of the weekend.